Brian’s Baler!

Sunday, October 1st 2023

There is so much cutting and raking going on around the reserve at the moment as a vital part of our grassland management. After wildflower seeds have been shed, it's important to cut the remaining vegetation to prevent a build-up of nutrients in the soil. Getting rid of the thatch at the end of the season also makes it easier for wildflower seeds to germinate in the spring.

Raking the grass into piles helps, but it's far better to be able to do something productive with the grass. Over the past couple of weeks, Brian has been putting his engineering skills to good effect, developing a portable hand baler.

We have a strip alongside our meadow where it's traditionally been hard to remove the grass, so this is where we decided to trial this new piece of kit. Conditions weren't perfect, but after tedding - or turning the hay with a fork - and a couple of hours of windy conditions, the hay was good enough for the experiment.

I think that you can tell from Peter and John's faces (while proudly sitting astride our first bale) that things went well!

Stacking the bales provided various photo opportunities!

Many thanks to Peter, John and especially to Brian - yet another productive day at the reserve!

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