Hay Meadows

Bretton hostel is surrounded by 3 acres of copse and beautiful hay meadows which, in season, are packed full of wild flowers.  Between May and August the meadow is host to a wide variety of wild flowers e.g. ox-eye daisies, common spotted orchids, eye-bright, field buttercups, yellow rattle, hawk bit and several grasses, plus butterflies, insects and ground nesting birds.  During these months visitors are asked to refrain from using the meadow area for outdoor activities.  We are using traditional management techniques to ensure that the flowers and wildlife in these meadows continue to flourish. To this end we mow for hay once a year at the end of July.  This ensures any ground nesting birds have fledged and allows the wild flowers to self seed.  Between autumn and spring, the area is grazed by sheep.  This helps keep the grass from getting too thick and taking over, allowing the flowers to thrive.