Meadow Management

Mowing Scott fields on Boston  Post Road
Mowing Scott fields on Boston Post Road

Included among the Amherst conservation properties are about quite a few acres of open fields and meadows. Some of these fields are managed and maintained for agricultureal uses. A couple of the larger fields are being mowed for hay, while others are used to grow corn. A few others are simply mowed to keep the brush and weeds down, while the rest have so far been left to grow up again into forest. Fields in New Hampshire and Amherst are a disappearing environment. Many have been transformed into house lots and forests that suround them.

Meadows and their borders provide an important habitat for a number of creatures that are disappearing from New Hampshire as open fields disappear, including bluebirds, and bobolinks. Amherst fields on conservation land need continuous maintenance, such as removal of invasive species, cutting young trees and brush back to the stone walls, drainage repair, and lime and fertilizer. A few fields are watched by neighbors, while others need some help from neighbors and stewards who could help with the many maintenance tasks.

The most expensive parts of our Amherst meadow management plans are cutting brush and invasive plants, and providing fertilizer to restore and maintain soil fertility. Some of the forest management timber harvest revenues have been used to fund meadow mangement work in addition to meadow rental fees from local farmers.