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Shire horses return to mow King’s meadow in Cambridge





The majestic Shire horses have been back mowing the wildflower meadow at King’s College this week.

David Lawless uses Shire horses to mow the wildflower meadow at King's College, Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham
David Lawless uses Shire horses to mow the wildflower meadow at King's College, Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham

Steven Coghill, head gardener at the college, said: “The horses are back today (Wednesday) for turning the hay, and then they’ll be back on Friday (August 26) for carting it.” Steven continued: “We cut it now, then we turn it so that it dries out. Once it’s turned and it’s dried out then we can cart it.

Driver David Lawless and his assistants, Toby Lawless, 15, and John Wadsworth use Shire horses to mow the wildflower meadow at King's College, Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham
Driver David Lawless and his assistants, Toby Lawless, 15, and John Wadsworth use Shire horses to mow the wildflower meadow at King's College, Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham

[Read more: Recreating pre-war East Anglian meadows at King’s College, Cambridge, Shire horse used to harrow Stourbridge Common in Cambridge]

“We do a little bit of carting with a 1943 haywain, and then two weeks after that, when things are properly dry, we bring out an alpine baler that Trinity College has and then we bale it. We cover the wildflower

meadow in tiny little round bales – there will probably be about 200 of them this year – and then the bales are taken away and used for wildflower production.

David Lawless uses Shire horses to mow the wildflower meadow at King's College, Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham
David Lawless uses Shire horses to mow the wildflower meadow at King's College, Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham
Driver David Lawless and his assistants, Toby Lawless, 15, and John Wadsworth use Shire horses to mow the wildflower meadow at King's College, Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham
Driver David Lawless and his assistants, Toby Lawless, 15, and John Wadsworth use Shire horses to mow the wildflower meadow at King's College, Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham

“About 25, 30 of those will be going for wildflower seeding and the rest will go for fodder as a haycrop.”



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