Working with seasonal growth on floodplain meadows

This blog first appeared on the Floodplain Meadows Partnership website here. Our traditional floodplain hay meadows are a haven for biodiversity, but they are also part of our agricultural landscape and depend on the annual cycle of haymaking and aftermath grazing to maintain their value. These meadows show characteristic seasonal patterns of growth and floweringContinue reading “Working with seasonal growth on floodplain meadows”

Hung, Drawn and Quartered: a meadow season

Here endeth the second field season of my PhD, researching some fabulous floodplain meadows in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. I was fortunate to be able to complete a full field season this year after being curtailed by lockdowns in 2020. This year my research has been hung, drawn and quartered, which wasn’t nearly as painful asContinue reading “Hung, Drawn and Quartered: a meadow season”

Burnet and Blue

Burnet: A most precious herb, the continual use of it preserves the body in health and the spirit in vigour. Culpeper Great burnet (Sanguisorba officianalis) is a stately denizen of our floodplain meadows – a larger cousin to the more diminutive salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) that you might find in upland calcareous grasslands or asContinue reading “Burnet and Blue”

Forever Meadow: a Poem

I’m delighted that this poem was selected as a finalist in the Floodplain Meadows Partnership Arts Competition 2021 and will be appearing in their 2022 calendar alongside some other fantasitc meadow-inspired artworks. This poem celebrates the full story of floodplain meadows, showing the importance of flooding and haymaking to the natural bounty that lives inContinue reading “Forever Meadow: a Poem”

The Hay Days of Captain Quad Rat

This poster was produced for the Open University 2021 Poster Competition and delightfully won both the People’s Choice Poster and the Judge’s Choice Best Use of Imagery categories. Captain Quad Rat and I are very pleased! You can download this from Open Research Data Online.

From Shoots to Roots: revealing the above and below ground structure of meadow plants

This has been an amazing project to work on, combining my digital paintings with the botanical expertise of Irina Tatarenko at the Floodplain Meadows Partnership and the extensive research carried out by teams in Russia and the UK; check out the reference list for a taste of how much work is behind this. It showsContinue reading “From Shoots to Roots: revealing the above and below ground structure of meadow plants”

Talk: Hay Days, meadow science for biodiversity and agriculture

This talk was orginally published as part of the Denbigh School STEM Lecture Series 2021. In this video PhD student, Vicky Bowskill, talks about the science of meadows, including: What meadows are and why they are important for both nature and farming; How the things we do to manage our meadows can affect the lifeContinue reading “Talk: Hay Days, meadow science for biodiversity and agriculture”

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 haymakingwww.floodplainmeadows.org.ukHaymaking 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”