Big meadow, big sky...

Time for the annual monitoring visit to Portholme Meadow, the largest hay meadow in Britain, approaching 1 square kilometre in size. We froze in the morning, under grey skies and with a cool northerly wind, and roasted towards the end of the afternoon, when the sun came out and the breeze dropped. We managed to record 26 quadrats - I'm now feeling fairly shattered! The grass was much shorter than normal, making it easier to walk through - but not very good for the farmers who take the hay crop. The high point of the day was finding a small number of early marsh-orchids on the way back, the first time I've seen them here.

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