Aciiiiiiiiiiid! (Part Two – The Scari Bit)
So. Now I think I have a handle on what Acid Grassland actually is, I find myself wondering what this is:
Looks like a path doesn’t it. But this wide channel goes directly through the acid grassland. There’s another pic here which puzzles me just as much.
Now – I’m a total novice when it comes to acid grassland, as you will have seen from the last post - I completely admit it – but surely what something on very thin soil, that has a massive and very delicate variety of plants, sedges, fungi and mosses chiefly needs is being left well alone?
Rachel tells me:
“At the Planning Board, (for the Olympics – TGP) Mark Camley (CEO Royal Parks) said that the x-country course would be only scarified. But the representative from the British Equestrian Federation said that it would be prepared in the way needed for the participants. Sue McNeill and I both noticed the discrepancy, and I wrote a note and had it taken up to the chairman then and there, pointing out that Camley and the BEF man could not both be right. Nothing happened; chairman did not respond in any way.”
Hang on, hang on. Let’s take this slowly. Scarified? Now, I know what that means. That’s where you rake through your bog-standard ordinary garden grass to get rid of pesky mosses and daisies, isn’t it? Now – I am an extremely poorly-informed Phantom, but I have a few questions about that. Would someone fill me in, please?
1) I thought the Olympic route wasn’t going anywhere near the acid grassland?
2) Why does acid grassland need scarification anyway? Um, isn’t the whole idea that it needs to have all those mosses and ‘weeds’ mixed in with it? Capability Bowes, am I being truly, truly ignorant here? (entirely possible…)
3) When does scarification end and scalping begin?
The picture above isn’t just a spot of grass being raked out, it’s bloomin’ everything. The workers told Sue that they were re-seeding with ‘Acid grass’. I am told there is no such thing, which is why our Greenwich Acid Grassland is so important, both ecologically and historically - IT CANNOT BE REPLACED. We have some of the last acid grass land – that is acid land that has grass on it - left in the region in that tiny area (the rest of the park is just ordinary green stuff.)
Call me cynical but if the scarification process ‘just happens’ to not work out quite as intended and, (for example) accidentally kills off the acid grass anyway, would that mean there would be no reason not to buy a bumper pack of family-grade lawn seed at B&Q and put the cross country route exactly where the organisers always wanted it ?
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