Besides being the beginning of the autumn, September is traditionally the harvest month. This means that the flowering meadows in the nature gardens on Wageningen Campus will be mowed on Saturday 30 September.
The management of the natural grasslands on the campus is based on traditional farming practices, which means that some of the grasslands are mowed in September. In previous centuries, grasslands were mowed in the autumn to produce hay for winter feed. Today, this type of management is used to maintain traditional grasslands and prevent encroachment of woodland. These days, however, nitrogen from the atmosphere provides additional fertilisation, so most of the grasslands on campus were already mowed once this year in July to remove excess nutrients.
With an eye to giving insects and flowering species an opportunity to survive on campus, not all parcels were mowed in July in the oldest nature gardens and on other parts of the campus. In September, all flowering meadows will be mowed. A few parcels will be left intact in the nature garden behind Lumen to provide overwintering habitat for insects.
This will be the last mowing this year for the natural grasslands on the campus. In the winter, some of the trees in the wooded bank around the garden near Lumen will probably be thinned out to maintain the thicket.