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Our ponies are now grazing the Keep field in Hazelbury Bryan

EuCAN has been involved for several years in the management of the ‘Keep’ field belonging to the Parish Council of Hazelbury Bryan in north Dorset. Our aim has been to try to improve the floweriness of the field. It has had many years of neglect but was formerly grazed by cattle and regularly cut for hay – in those days, locals say, it was far more flowery. We have been brushcutting the rank grass and invading bramble and thorn, we have sown yellow rattle and planted wildflower plug plants. Last season we took a crop of very nice hay off the field, baled by a local farmer. The vegetation on some parts of the field includes Black knapweed, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Ox-eye daisy and other species and we would like to get these areas to extend…

We have moved two of the Butterfly Conservation ponies onto the field to eat off the grass growth before we lay the field up for another crop of hay this summer. Scarface and Blackberry are doing a very good job so far but it is noticeable how they prefer the finer sweeter grasses and have ignored the coarse tussocks of Tall Fescue and the whole central area of lush grass.

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