A community project to create a special place for people and wildlife
Jubilee Pasture in June 2023. Flowers visbile in the meadow area include meadow buttercup, yellow rattle and common sorrel. The white flowers in the strip to the right are pignut amongst the trees planted last year. Yellow rattle is from seed spread by volunteers last year.
Thanks to National Lottery Players
Half way between Bugthorpe and Kirby Underdale, where the road crosses the beck, there is a triangle of grassland with some trees in the corner. We hope to transform this site into a small wildlife haven, and create a special place where local residents and visitors can appreciate our countryside. The project will commemorate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee of 2022 and, being next to Pasture Farm, we have called it Jubilee Pasture.
The land is owned by Halifax Estates and has been farmed for many years by the Wardell family. They have agreed to allow this use of the site and are strongly involved with the project. Bugthorpe and Kirby Underdale Parish Council have taken on responsibility for managing any funding received for the project, and will ensure that it is well-maintained in years to come. The on-the-ground work will be undertaken by an informal group of parish residents called the 'Friends of Jubilee Pasture', and anyone else who wants to come along when we've arranged a day of activities. If you would like to participate at any level, from pulling ivy to growing plug plants at home ready for planting out, please contact Janet at email@example.com.
This page will make the plans for the project available to anyone who is interested and, hopefully, will show our progress as we work with nature to achieve our aims.
We are very pleased that this project has received support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Plan for Jubilee Pasture
A document as been drawn up to serve as a reference for everyone involved with the project. This summarises the existing features of the site, lists the aims of the project, describes the developments which will take place and indicates ongoing management requirements. Click here to read the full document (pdf, 9 pages). The plans may be updated as ideas develop but they will remain consistent with the agreed aims.
Developments of the site will be consistent with, and seek to achieve, the following aims:
● To create an area where the residents of Bugthorpe, Kirby Underdale and nearby villages, and visiting walkers and cyclists, can enjoy the flora and fauna of the site and benefit from the surrounding landscape.
The site will be visually attractive, in keeping with it being in the countryside rather than a garden, and will allow for people to walk throughout the area.
● To encourage existing plant species of conservation value, and to introduce additional plant species of conservation value.
Species will be native and within their natural range, with some exceptions for non-invasive historically naturalised species such as wild-type snowdrops (not cultivars). Wherever possible, seed and plant material will be obtained from non-commercial local sources to help maintain genetic diversity.
● To the create habitats for, and provide food for, invertebrates, birds, mammals, amphibians and fungi.
This will be achieved through vegetation management, creation of a pond and consideration of microhabitats such as dead wood.
Fertilisers (synthetic or organic) and insecticides will not be used. Herbicides will only be used as method of last resort.
● To educate people, especially children, about the nature and history of the local area.
This will be achieved through an information board and through organised activities.
● To commemorate HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee of 2022.
This will be marked by an inscribed bench.
The developments will:
● Provide a range of one-off or regular activities in which residents can participate, and so benefit from the social activity and sense of contribution to the project.
● Be planned to ensure that they do not require undue time or cost in future maintenance or management.
● Be under the oversight of Bugthorpe and Kirby Underdale Parish Council but organised by the Friends of Jubilee Meadow. They will be agreed by the owner, Halifax Estates, and tenants of the site, currently Wardell & Sons.
Proposed Zones for Development
See the full plan document for details (click here for pdf file).
1. Management of existing trees and understory.
2. Creation of pond.
3. New trees and shrubs.
4. Management of beckside vegetation.
5. Management of bridge area vegetation.
6. Enhancement of grassland to form wildflower-rich meadow through altered management and seeding with green hay.
7. Bench commemorating Jubilee.
8. Information sign.
Together, the trees and meadow form a woodmeadow.
The proposed timetable for activities from spring 2022 to spring 2023, as prepared for the National Lottery Heritage Fund application, can be found here. We were delighted to hear in June 2022 that we were successful with this application. With some delays and an extension, we have now completed all the activities funded by the Hertiage Fund and will mark the end of this phase of the project with an event in November 2023, with a final report due then. When volunteer activities have been planned, notices will be put up on the boards in Bugthorpe and Kirby Underdale. To receive emails about planned activities, please contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the Jubilee year is a key year for this project, it will continue for many years to come. There will be ongoing maintenance, such as traditional hay meadow management of the grassland, and people will have new ideas for how to enhance the wildlife and community value of the site. It will take many years for the wildflower meadow to enrich and, with the new trees, to develop into a woodmeadow. (To learn more about woodmeadows, visit The Woodmeadow Trust website here.) We hope this is just the start of something with ever-increasing value.
Plant species are being surveyed monthly. If you have skills in plant identification and would like to assist, please contact Katherine at email@example.com. The record of surveys to date can be read here (spreadsheet file). A report of the first year of surveys can be found here.
If you have skills in identifying any other wildlife groups and would like to build up a record of their presence at Jubilee Pasture, please contact Katherine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Activities to date
March 2022 - Tree planting. Click here to read more.
10 April 2022 - Spring flower planting. Click here to read more.
17 May 2022 – Ivy clearing in wooded area. Click here to read more.
13 July 2022 - Preparation for green hay spreading. Click here to read more.
25 July 2022 - Green hay spreading. Click here to read more.
3 August 2022 - Pond creation. Click here to read more.
10 August 2022 - Meadow seed sowing. Click here to read more.
26 August 2022 - Sowing after pond construction. Click here to read more.
3 October 2022 - Plants grown from Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve seed. Click here to read more.
mid October 2022 - Cutting and baling. Click here to read more.
20 November 2022 - Shrub and cowslip planting. Click here to read more.
February/March 2023 - Planting of pond marginal plants and more shrubs. Click here to read more.
22 June 2023 - Erection of tawny owl and bat boxes. Click here to read more.
29 June 2023 - Clearing vegetation ready for the bench. Click here to read more.
mid August 2023 - Installation of bench and interpretation board. Click here to read more.
late August 2023 - Cutting and baling. Click here to read more.
10 September 2023 - Erection of small nest boxes and further planting. Click here to read more.
9 October 2023 - Planting by Bugthorpe C of E School. Click here to read more.
29 October 2023 - Shrub protection and grass cutting. Click here to read more.
Gallery (most recent first, click to see full image and description)
The horse chestnut in the corner of Jubilee Pasture is a truly magnificent tree, difficult to capture in a photo.
Three small nest boxes have been erected within the wooded area.
A native wetland plant grown from purchased seed and planted by the pond.
It's been quite wet so the meadow area was cut a bit later than expected. It has now been cut for hay, turned several times and baled. Drying and turning increases the number of wildflower seeds which fall to the ground where they can grow next season. Removing the hay reduces the fertility of the soil. Low fertility helps increase plant diversity by allowing less competitive plant species to survive.
The bench has finally been put in place! It is a piece of reclaimed stone from Scarborough Bridge in York and has been engraved by an apprentice with local stonemasons Matthias Garn and Partner.
The interpretation board has finally been installed! It features illustrations of flowers found at Jubilee Pasture through the year, and a panorama showing sites of historical interest which can be seen in the surrounding landscape. The panorama was painted by local artist Robert Crow.
Two bat boxes and a tawny owl box have been erected in trees near Jubilee Pasture.
...I think! One of many insects seen feeding on the black knapweed.
...I think! The caterpillars of many moths and butterflies develop on uncut grasses.