I thought it would be a good idea to see how Rampisham Down was looking as we have had some good weather and the site had received some (not enough but a start) grazing in the winter to remove some of the “thatch” that had built up over the previous years of no management.
I was extremely pleasantly surprised to see that it was looking really lovely. The air was buzzing with the sound of bees and other insects, butterflies flitted across the grassland and there was a spectacular array of wildflowers.
Contrary to what the site owners, Solar Subsidy Farmers British Solar Renewables, want everyone to believe, Rampisham Down is not “severely damaged” grassland. Despite British Solar Renewable’s front organisation Community Heat and Power’s claims about Rampisham Down (eg here) it was indeed possible to graze the site last winter; and this has done a power of good for the lowland acid grassland for which the site is so special.
Here are the photos I took earlier this week from the public right of way which runs along the southern boundary of Rampisham Down.
The yellow will generally be bird’s-foot trefoil though there is Tormentil too. White flowers include large sheets of Pignut, Lesser stitchwort and heath bedstraw. The red is common sorrel. I saw very little bracken on the southern half of the site, which is excellent news and completely at odds with the extraordinary claims made by Professor Ghillean Prance, a paid consultant acting on behalf of British Solar Renewables, at the planning committee hearing, who said that the site would quickly become covered with bracken.