Burial Ground Meadow June 2013.

Acquisition

When, in 2005, land to the immediate south of Keyworth's Wysall Lane Burial Ground, became available, Keyworth Parish Council had the foresight to acquire 2.6 acres (10,500m²) of it for a future extension of the cemetery. In the meantime though, options were put forward as to how the land might be put to good use and the idea of a wildflower meadow won the day.

Creation

Working on advice from the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Naturescape, a local farming contractor sprayed off the thistles and grasses and, in autumn 2011, sowed the field with around 50kg of seed provided by the Wildlife Trust from their Ashton's Meadow reserve. This was supplemented by hand sown wildflower seed mixes supplied by Naturescape.

The cultivation of the field unfortunately reduced the amplitude of the ancient ridge and furrow somewhat. However it is still there, and indeed, aerial photographs show the strips extending southwards along Lings Lane almost to Keyworth Meadow - where the land was common to all; often for their full furlong length.

2012

After a marvellously warm and sunny March and April, 2012 turned into the wettest summer for fifty years and the meadow responded by growing tall and rank. Red Campions were one of the few flowers to show their stuff before grasses and sow thistles more than a metre tall swamped everything. Nevertheless, the field was cut in early August and the hay was baled and removed.

2013

The wet summer was followed by a very cold and prolonged winter resulting in a delayed spring with little growth. So little, that a local farmer asked to graze a flock of sheep on the meadow for a couple of weeks in April. If this would knock back the grasses, then it could be beneficial to the herbs and the flock dutifully did just that. When some sunshine and warmth eventually appeared in late April, the flock was turned out.

At the guided walk/open day on May 19th, there was just Red Campion in flower, but the variety of herb foliage and the sparsity of the grasses looked promising - twelve months earlier, the field had been waist high.

June 12th 2013:
The Wildflower Meadow.

What a contrast! In my wildest dreams I never imagined the improvement could be so dramatic. The vista was dominated by the yellow of Meadow Buttercups, peppered with white heads of Ox-eye Daisy and there, fluttering amongst the blossoms was a blue butterfly - a Common Blue; one of the species intended to benefit from the meadow's creation - with the assistance of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and their "Blue Butterfly Scheme".

Common Blue
Common Blue.

Also in flower were Ribwort Plantain, Pignut, Red Clover, Yellow Rattle, Common Sorrel, Common Bird's-foot Trefoil, Hairy Tare, Black Medick, Common Mouse-ear, Lesser Trefoil, Common Vetch and Ragged Robin. The finely cut leaves of Yarrow were everywhere but the blossoms were still dormant. The first flush of grasses - Meadow Foxtail, Annual Meadow Grass and Yorkshire Fog was just appearing.

On the following day, several Small Coppers which will lay their eggs on the Sorrel, were dodging the showers.

Small Copper
Small Copper.

The Future

It is estimated that the the current phase of burial ground space will be used up by about 2022 but it will be many years before the field is fully utilised and in the meantime, the newly established meadow will delight butterflies and visitors alike - perhaps in future, the wildflowers will be allowed to clothe the graves instead of the manicured lawns that do so now.

Where is it?

The meadow is just west of the cemetery on Wysall Lane next to the car-park on the bend. The National Grid Reference is SK610304. Click HERE for a link to Streetmap.

What is there?

The plant list below was compiled in 2015/16 by Neil Pinder and is almost certainly incomplete so if you spot anything missing please let me know.




Burial Ground Wildflower Meadow Plant List

Family Common Name Scientific Name
Apiaceae Hemlock Conium maculatum
Wild Carrot Daucus carota
Asteraceae Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare
Scented Mayweed Matricaria recutita
Goatsbeard Tragopogon pratensis
Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra
Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense
Rough Sowthistle Sonchus asper
Hawkweed spp Hieracium spp
Brassicaceae Hedge Mustard Sisymbrium officinale
Shepherd's Purse Capsella bursa-pastoris
Caryophyllaceae Common Mouse-ear Cerastium fontanum
Ragged-robin Lychnis flos-cuculi
Red Campion Silene dioica
White Campion Silene latifolia
Fabaceae Meadow Vetchling Lathyrus pratensis
Bird's-foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus
Hop Trefoil Trifolium campestre
Red Clover Trifolium pratense
White Clover Trifolium repens
Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca
Smooth Tare Vicia tetrasperma
Common Vetch Vicia sativa

Family Common Name Scientific Name
Geraniaceae Cut-leaved Cranesbill Geranium dissectum
Lamiaceae Self-heal Prunella vulgaris
Hedge Woundwort Stachys sylvatica
Malvaceae Musk-mallow Malva moschata
Plantaginaceae Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata
Polygonaceae Fat-hen Chenopodium album
Redleg Persicaria maculosa
Broad-leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius
Common Sorrel Rumex acetosa
Curled Dock Rumex crispus
Primulaceae Cowslip Primula veris
Ranunculaceae Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris
Rosaceae Dog Rose Rosa canina
Rubiaceae Cleavers Galium aparine
Marsh Bedstraw Galium palustre
Scrophulariaceae Yellow-rattle Rhinanthus minor
Common Field-speedwell Veronica persica
Urticaceae Common Nettle Urtica dioica
Graminae Common Bent Agrostis capillaris
Creeping Bent Agrostis stolonifera
False Oat-grass Arrentherum elatius
Soft Brome Bromus hordaceus
Crested Dogstail Cynosurus cristatus
Cocksfoot Dactylis glomerata
Tufted hair-grass Deschampsia cespitosa
Yorkshire Fog Holcus lanatus
Perennial Ryegrass Lolium perenne
Timothy Phleum pratense
Smaller Cat's-tail Phleum bertolonii
Meadow Foxtail Alopecurus pratensis
Tall Fescue Schedonorus arundinaceus