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 has been compiled by Neil Pinder from full surveys in 2015/16 and 2019. In 2018 the diversity appeared to have diminished sharply as the field was dominated by False Oat-grass. Over the following winter sheep were allowed in to graze and they were not turned out until mid-May. This seems to have totally suppressed this undesirable grass and although the Yorkshire-fog and Ox-eye Daisy have all but disappeared, the desirable herb flora is still present.



Burial Ground Wildflower Meadow Plant List

Common Name Scientific Name 2015/16 2018 2019
Yarrow Achillea millefolium Widespread Recorded
Common Bent Agrostis capillaris Recorded
Creeping Bent Agrostis stolonifera Recorded
Meadow Foxtail Alopecurus pratensis Recorded Recorded
Sterile Brome Anisantha sterilis Not recorded Many patches
Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris Not recorded Present in margins
False Oat-grass Arrhentherum elatius Recorded Abundant A few plants
Soft Brome Bromus hordeaceus Recorded Abundant
Shepherd's Purse Capsella bursa-pastoris Present in margins Present in margins
Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra Widespread Widespread
Common Mouse-ear Cerastium fontanum Recorded Recorded
Fat-hen Chenopodium album Present in margins Present in margins
Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense Present in margins Present in margins
Hemlock Conium maculatum Present in margins Present in margins
Pignut Conopodium majus Present in margins Not recorded Not recorded
Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna In hedge In hedge
Crested Dogstail Cynosurus cristatus Recorded Recorded
Cocksfoot Dactylis glomerata Recorded Recorded
Wild Carrot Daucus carota Recorded Not recorded
Tufted hair-grass Deschampsia cespitosa Recorded Not recorded
Teasel Dipsacus fullonem Not recorded Present in margins
Red Fescue agg Festuca rubra Not recorded Present in margins
Cleavers Galium aparine Present in margins Present in margins
Marsh Bedstraw Galium palustre Recorded Not recorded
Cut-leaved Cranesbill Geranium dissectum Recorded Recorded
Ground Ivy Glechoma hederacea Not recorded Present in margins
Bristly Ox-tongue Helminthotheca echiodes Not recorded One plant
Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium Not recorded Present in margins
Hawkweed spp Hieracium spp Recorded Not recorded
Yorkshire Fog Holcus lanatus Abundant Recorded
White Dead-nettle Lamium album Not recorded Present in margins
Red Dead-nettle Lamium purpureum Not recorded Present in margins
Meadow Vetchling Lathyrus pratensis Recorded Recorded
Lesser Swine-cress Lepidium didymum Not recorded On bonfire site
Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare Abundant One plant
Perennial Ryegrass Lolium perenne Recorded Recorded
Bird's-foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus Recorded Recorded
Ragged-robin Lychnis flos-cuculi Recorded Recorded
Musk-mallow Malva moschata One plant Not recorded
Scented Mayweed Matricaria chamomila Recorded Present in margins
Black Medick Medicago lupulina Recorded Not recorded
Field Forget-me-not Myosotis arvensis Not recorded Recorded
Redleg Persicaria maculosa Present in margins Not recorded
Smaller Cat's-tail Phleum bertolonii Recorded
Timothy Phleum pratense Recorded
Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata Recorded Recorded
Annual Meadow-grass Poa annua Recorded Not recorded
Rough Meadow-grass Poa trivialis Not recorded Recorded
Salad Burnet Poterium sanguisorba Not recorded A few plants
Cowslip Primula veris Recorded Not recorded
Self-heal Prunella vulgaris Recorded Not recorded
Wild Cherry Prunus avium Planted Planted
Blackthorn Prunus spinosa In hedge In hedge
Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris Recorded Recorded
Yellow-rattle Rhinanthus minor Recorded Recorded
Dog Rose Rosa canina Present in margins Present in margins
Bramble agg Rubus fruticosus Present in margins Present in margins
Common Sorrel Rumex acetosa Widespread Widespread
Curled Dock Rumex crispus Recorded Recorded
Broad-leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius Recorded Recorded
Wood Dock Rumex sanguineus Not recorded Present in margins
Elder Sambucus nigra In hedge In hedge
Tall Fescue Schedonorus arundinaceus Recorded Not recorded
Red Campion Silene dioica Abundant Not recorded
Ragged Robin Silene flos-cuculi Not recorded Many patches
White Campion Silene latifolia Recorded One plant
“Pink” Campion Silene x hampeana Not recorded One plant
Charlock Sinapis arvensis Not recorded One plant
Hedge Mustard Sisymbrium officinale Present in margins Present in margins
Rough Sowthistle Sonchus asper Recorded Recorded
Smooth Sow-thistle Sonchus oleraceus Not recorded Present in margins
Hedge Woundwort Stachys sylvatica Present in margins Present in margins
Common Chickweed Stellaria media Not recorded Present in margins
Goatsbeard Tragopogon pratensis Recorded Not recorded
Hop Trefoil Trifolium campestre Recorded Not recorded
Lesser Trefoil Trifolium dubium Not recorded Widespread
Red Clover Trifolium pratense Recorded Recorded
White Clover Trifolium repens Recorded Recorded
Common Nettle Urtica dioica Present in margins Increased Many patches
Common Field-speedwell Veronica persica Recorded Recorded
Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca Recorded Not recorded
Hairy Tare Vicia hirsuta Recorded Recorded
Common Vetch Vicia sativa Recorded Recorded
Smooth Tare Vicia tetrasperma Recorded Recorded