Putting the Cotswolds meadows back on the map
Saturday 1 July 2017 #NationalMeadowsDay
- Save the date: National Meadows Day to take place on 1 July 2017
- Wildflower meadows are vanishing; 97% have been lost since the 1930s
- A single healthy meadow can be home to over 80 species of wild flowers
National Meadows Day (1), dedicated to celebrating and protecting our vanishing wildflower meadows and the wealth of wildlife they support, will take place on Saturday 1 July 2017. This year's National Meadows Day will be the biggest yet, with over 100 events (2) taking place across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
From barefoot walks and scything workshops, to picnics and bug hunts, people will have the opportunity to experience first-hand the petalled-paradise that is a meadow in summer.
Hucclecote Meadows on the outskirts of Gloucester was rescued from development and remains an oasis of wildflowers and insect life. To celebrate National Meadows Day, the Cotswolds Conservation Board and Gloucester City Council have organised a medicinal herb walk from with Max Drake from the Urban Fringe Dispensary, natural sculpture making sessions with artist Alan May, as well as wildflower and butterfly ID sessions and pond dipping! All are welcome – come and find out why meadows matter, from 1pm to 4pm.
For a full programme of events taking place in the Cotswolds visit; www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk.
National Meadows Day is the headline event of Save Our Magnificent Meadows (3), the UK’s largest partnership project transforming the fortunes of our vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife. Plantlife, supported by money raised by National Lottery players with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) (4), is spearheading the project.
Claire Parton, Save Our Magnificent Meadows Project Manager, said:
"Meadows, once a feature of every parish in the Cotswolds, are now an increasingly fragile part of our national heritage but all is not lost. National Meadows Day is the perfect way to explore and enjoy the flowers and wildlife of the Cotswolds magnificent meadows and understand their special place in our shared social and cultural history".
"Beyond being a quintessential sight of summer, meadows' value to our wildlife cannot be overstated - a single healthy meadow can be home to over 80 species of wild flowers, such as cuckoo flower, yellow rattle, orchids, knapweed and scabious, compared to most modern agricultural pasture which typically supports under a dozen species."
Eleanor Reast, Conservation Officer for Save Our Magnificent Meadows in the Cotswolds, said:
“Just 100 years ago there would have been a meadow in every Cotswold parish, supporting a way of life that had gone on for centuries. They provided grazing and hay for livestock, employment, and food and medicine for the parish and were part of a community's cultural and social history. Today, just 3% of the meadows that existed in the 1930’s remain (5) – that’s a loss of 7.5 million acres of wild flower grassland”.
• 1) National Meadows Day is the headline event of Save Our Magnificent Meadows, the UK’s largest partnership project transforming the fortunes of our vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife.
• 2) For more information about the events taking place on National Meadows Day please visit www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk.
• 3) Led by Plantlife, the Save Our Magnificent Meadows partnership is made up of 11 organisations and is primarily funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The partnership consists of Cotswolds Conservation Board, Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, National Trust Wales, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Plantlife, RSPB (working in Scotland and Wiltshire), Scottish Wildlife Trust, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Ulster Wildlife, and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
• 4) Thanks to National Lottery players, Heritage Lottery Fund invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow HLF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
• 5) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/18/losing-97-percent-britain-wildflower-meadows-matters-butterfly