Image Size: 31.0 x 22.0 cms (12.2 x 8.6”)
Acrylic on paper.
Original artwork from page 91 of ‘Orchards Through the Eyes of An Artist’ (Langford Press) ISBN 1904078087
Hay meadows and pastures were formally an integral part of the farming system. They were specifically managed to support livestock, traditionally cut for hay in July/August and grazed through the autumn. Today, due to the dramatic changes in farm practises, flower-rich pastures have become a rare sight in many parts of Britain, surviving only where intensification remains unprofitable due to poor fertility or inhospitable terrain.
Unimproved, unsprayed, species-rich meadows are not only of interest in their own right, but act as reservoirs for biodiversity. Healthy invertebrate populations are important for birds, and under favourable conditions, populations are able to colonise new areas, including orchards. Species that would typically be absent from mature orchards exploit the rich feeding grounds and nesting sites that they provide, and may include yellow wagtails, barn owls and brown hares.