Villagers' anger after meadow is mowed causing 'destruction' of plants

Dr Anne Edwards, a parish councillor and Hethersett environmentalist, points at the mowed meadow.

Dr Anne Edwards, a parish councillor and Hethersett environmentalist, points at the mowed meadow. - Credit: Peter Steward

A Norfolk village is up in arms at what it claims is the “decimation” of an area specially set aside for re-wilding.

Village folk have expressed their "dismay" at the “destruction” of Rectory Meadow in Hethersett, which has been cut by South Norfolk Council, much to the anguish of councillors and local environmentalists.

Hethersett Parish Council councillor, Bridget Williamson, contacted the district council to complain about their actions.

Rectory Meadow in Hethersett.

Rectory Meadow in Hethersett. - Credit: Peter Steward

She said: “One of your grass cutters has destroyed most of a wildflower meadow we have been growing for the past four years, almost certainly preventing any Pyramid of Bee Orchids that grow there from flowering this year.

"Residents had named it Rectory Meadow but sadly it’s a meadow no more.

A sign urging people not to mow the meadow.

A sign urging people not to mow the meadow. - Credit: Peter Steward

“We are all devastated that this has happened and cannot understand why. Can you assure us that this meadow will not be cut again until the early Autumn."

South Norfolk Council's reply suggested the meadow area had been made slightly smaller, but the area where the Pyramid Orchids are located had not been touched.:

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A district council spokesperson said: “It is our belief that the site has been enhanced rather than destroyed."

Mrs Williamson responded by pointing out that work on the project had been going on for four years and questioned why the parish council had not been made aware that the cut was taking place.

Rectory Meadow in Hethersett.

Rectory Meadow in Hethersett. - Credit: Peter Steward

She added: “The meadow has not been made slightly smaller, it has been decimated. The site has not been enhanced it has been destroyed.

"Can we have assurances that we will be included in any plans for cutting in the future and our views will be taken seriously?

“This was an asset to the village which many people really enjoyed and appreciated and now it has all but gone."

Parish council chairman Adrienne Quinlan, said: “It has happened this year, but we need to be pro-active to ensure it doesn’t happen again next year.”