Kingsmead Meadow October 2012

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Beautiful Battle volunteers gathered at Kingsmead meadow in Battle to lay the 200 square metres of Olympic Legacy turf that was donated to the town by the grower, James Hewetson-Brown of Wildflower Turf Ltd. Kingsmead is situated at the top of Caldbec Hill, close to the windmill which has been a landmark in Battle for many many years. It is an area that, over the past few years, has been nursed back into being a natural wildflower meadow. There is only approximately three percent of this type of grassland left in England from what was here 75 years ago. Kingsmead will be enhanced by this new turf which contains over 30 species of native wildflowers and four grasses.

Beautiful Battle, in co-operation with Rother District Council and Battle Town Council, was able to offer Kingsmead as being a particularly suitable site. This offer was then accepted by local man Keith Datchler, of the Meadows Nectar Network, and he subsequently made all the arrangements for the arrival of the turf. The new turf was laid on a very misty and wet morning, almost 946 years to the day after the historic Battle of Hastings. A bloody battle during which the last Saxon king of England lost his life and a Viking Duke from Normandy seized the throne of England. It is quite likely that King Harold camped on, or near to, this site and he would undoubtedly have seen much the same flora as we have just lain in the form of turf. Over the last 15 years many ancient meadows have been recognised, protected, enhanced or treated within the Weald using native wild local provenance seed harvested by MNN under the direction of Dawn Brickwood. It is therefore fitting that this turf not only represents an Olympic Legacy but is a continuation of the improvement of this type of grassland which is so vital to our biodiversity and ecosystem services, and also for the enjoyment of the people of Battle. This new turf will come into flower next June and the hope is that when it seeds it will slowly spread wild flowers throughout the meadow.

Beautiful Battle is truly delighted to have been able to take part in this project as we all think, and hope, that Kingsmead will become a very notable part of the ecology of our town.


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