Floral Field Margins

Birds-foot Trefoil | Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus… | Flickr

Looking to your left and right, you will see fields of winter wheat. The field to your left is being used to grow the Soissons variety, a type of milling wheat that is used to produce more specialist flours, often for baking. To your right, the Skyfall variety is growing, which is commonly used for bread-making. These wheats are drilled and seeded towards the end of September and early October, and harvested in July-August. Winter wheats often take around 7-8 months to reach maturity, at which point they start to look golden.

Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) © Bob Embleton :: Geograph Britain and ...

You will see that the land in front of you is not ploughed or planted up. This forms part of a floral enhanced margin, which provides a better habitat than just a grass margin. Wildflower seeds were planted across the area, including self-heal, musk mallow, and Birds-foot Trefoil. This is supported by Countryside Stewardship, which helps to support farmers maintain this land for biodiversity rather than cropping right to the edge of the field. As these schemes evolve, the farm hopes to continue these floral margins with further stewardship agreements.

These areas are essential for ground nesting birds, such as skylarks, lapwings, and grey partridge to provide a safe habitat to rear their chicks. These areas look a great place for dogs to be let off the lead to run around, but doing so can scare these birds away from their nests. Please keep dogs on leads and refrain from walking into the conservation areas to ensure that the habitat is not disturbed.