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The combination of sun, rain and grass make the English meadow gently distinctive. Traditionally, the many species of grass, particularly quaking-grass shown here and other plants was cut in June or July and left to dry into hay. It provided much of the winter feed for cattle, sheep and horses.
Historically, all but breeding cattle were slaughtered and salted down at the onset of winter.
However, I have noticed a recent decline in haymaking. Why? The dairy industry is declining. Cheap beef imports. Owning a horse has become an expensive luxury and the EEC's set-aside policy which has removed land from productive agriculture.