This weekend in Ampthill concert goers will no doubt notice the stalls, stages and sound systems at Ampthill Great Park that support the concerts and Gala Day, but spare a thought for the detailed landscape management that Ranger John Fensom and his team (Lee and Jamie) carry out in preparation for these events working for The Greensand Trust which helps Ampthill Town Council manage Ampthill Great Park and other sites around Ampthill.

It all starts in September of the previous year, when the arena area of the park (5.5 acres) is dug up, tilled and levelled to loosen the soil (compressed by the previous concerts)  to create ideal grass growing conditions and level the surfaces. It is then re-seeded and by April is re-grown. 

In April we begin grass management, lightly cutting the arena and extension parking areas by the West Car Park each month, we then lower the mowers for a harder cut every two weeks in June until a final cut is carried out a few days before the weekend of events. The recent dry weather has caused the grass to brown but it’s perfectly fine.

While undertaking this important work, the Ampthill Ranger team of The Greensand Trust also looks after a further 29 acres of park grassland and cemetery which needs to be cut every 2-3 weeks during spring and summer, with a further  27 acres of conservation acid grassland forage harvested (cut and collected) in July/August.   That’s a lot of grass!

Come and see our Rangers at our stand on Ampthill Gala on Sunday!

Image courtesy of Iain Frankish