I Chair a local community Conservation group .as a group we hold a long term lease on a mixed woodland/grass 17 acre property near Scarborough. The land we lease is in the middle of a 220 ha woodland and has a permissive bridleway right through the centre of it. The land is visited daily by walkers ,bird watchers & horse riders. The grass has for the last few years been cut and the Hay burnt . We have been advised that since we have no use for the hay we should abandon our summer hay cutting and Top the grass three times a year instead. The reason been that as the grass has public access lots of dog shit. http://www.nfus.org.uk/uploadedFiles/Campaigns/Disease%20in%20Livestock.pdf
and mole hills that seem to be getting bigger each year.
Both the mole hills and the dog shit have in them the capacity to harm/kill any animals that might eat the hay and as a result makes the hay unsellable, in fact even giving it away could cause us problems.
Do we TOP and remove any possibility of been taken to court, but change the nature of the sward or do we carry on with the hay cutting ? The first is cheaper, quicker and easily done. The second has the risk of animal deaths associated with it , the possibility of legal action against me but the sward carry s on developing as a flower meadow?
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