Industrial Mowing

Phil was out on Thursday doing what is probably his strangest mowing job to date.
We had a call last week from a local weed management company asking if we could help them out. A local gas storage facility needed overgrown vegetation cut from within the compound as the ageing vegetation was considered a fire risk. However, the work inside the compound had to be done without using an internal combustion engine because of the risk of sparks. No mowers then, strimmers or brush cutters. Time to call in the scythe!

The storage facility turned out to be supplying a factory that makes edible food-like substances. Accompanied by the smell of, hmmm… barbecue beef favouring perhaps….the work got underway. Unfortunately there are no photos of Phil in action, cameras and phones were banned for security reasons. Despite challenging terrain the scythe got the job done. A group of men followed behind to clear away the rank grass.

Unfortunately, more followed behind them, spraying the grass with a growth retardant to lengthen the time before the next cut was needed. A dye in the spray turned the ground blue. Weed killer was sprayed around the fence line.

Phil had been thinking of sneaking in some yellow rattle seeds in his pocket to sow as he mowed – wouldn’t that have been a more pleasant and sustainable solution? A wildflower meadow would not grow so long and rank so would need less frequent mowing and would be beneficial and beautiful in the meantime. And surely it would be as cost effective to employ the occasional scyther than a team complete with sprayers and chemicals? And think about the “greeny points” the company could earn!

Back home, it was back to work in the Trust’s beautiful meadows. Phil mowed on Tuesday and Wednesday morning and the hay we are making needed to be made safe ahead of the rain that came as expected today. Cameras are allowed at the Trust, so here are a couple of pictures of what we did:

The hay mowed on Tuesday was almost cured. We put it into haycocks to hold it over the rain and plan to spread it, finish drying it and get it into the barn on Saturday.

The slightly wetter hay from Wednesday’s mowing was put up onto hay racks.