Burnet moth on devil’s bit scabious (Succisa pratensis) Image © Vicky Bowskill

How hay makes meadows

This article was originally posted on the Agricology website. Read the full article here. A healthy floodplain meadow in June is a spectacular sight, teeming with life in every hue. So, it may seem odd that this is also the time farmers choose to mow it all down for hay. But they’ve been doing thisContinue reading “How hay makes meadows”

Video: How hay makes meadows

PhD researcher, Vicky Bowskill, explains how meadow flowers are able to thrive, despite being mown for hay every summer. Further reading: Video: Yarnton and the importance of is critical to our heritage hay meadows, but is later really better? Transcript This is a floodplain meadow. It’s mid-July and you can see that the swardContinue reading “Video: How hay makes meadows”

Meadows and robots and hay, oh my!

This week marks the end of my first year as a PhD student, my first year in Milton Keynes, my first field season and a number of other personal milestones, all set against the backdrop of a global pandemic. What a ride!

Video: The Art of Hay Sampling

This video was filmed during data collection in June and July 2020. PhD student, Vicky Bowskill, demonstrates how she is sampling floodplain meadow hay to investigate the way nutritional content changes, depending on when it is harvested. This can help land managers to maintain healthy meadows, whilst also providing a balanced diet for pasture-fed livestock.Continue reading “Video: The Art of Hay Sampling”

Hay Days project poster

This poster was created for the Open University 2020 poster competition. It can be downloaded in via Open Research Online. References French, K. E. (2017). Species composition determines forage quality and medicinal value of high diversity grasslands in lowland England. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 241, 193–204. French, K. E., Harvey, J., & McCullagh, J.Continue reading “Hay Days project poster”


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