Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Making hay while the sun shines on the Durham Coast

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece for the Guardian Country Diary and posted some pictures here of the exceptionally species-rich Hawthorn Meadows on the Durham coast. The botanical diversity is the result of a late hay cut, which allows the wild flowers to set seed. 

Today, when we walked through the meadow....

....  Durham Wildlife Trust's volunteers were haymaking, on a very warm early autumn day. 

Doing it the traditional way, with wooden rakes and pitchforks, is hard work. The smell of warm, fragrant wild flower hay was wonderful.

A little further up the coast, between Hawthorn Dene and Dawdon, they were haymaking in the National Trust meadows with some labour-saving devices.


  1. What's the first machine the lady is using?
    The National Trust are a bit naughty. I thought we had to keep cab doors and windows shut with pollen filters and the rest all working these days.
    It's great to see hay being made properly and not that awful hayledge.

    1. Don't know Adrian - I'll ask. NT may well contract local farmer to cut their hay.Would have been sweltering hot in a closed cab w-out air conditioning this morning.

  2. How nice to see it being done by hand. I would not like to have to do it though.

    1. It must have been hot work today, sunny with little wind. And it's a big meadow!