100 years ago colourful flower-rich meadows and grasslands were an intrinsic part of our agriculture and people’s daily lives. Meadows are grown in spring, cut in late summer and the hay is stored for use as animal feed over the winter months. Fast forward to today and over 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost. To celebrate these now very rare and special spaces and to raise awareness of their striking decline, the first ever National Meadows Day was held on Saturday 4 July and July is the perfect time to visit.
Meadows are beautiful places to walk but they also play a crucial conservation and environmental role. As well as supporting pollinating insects that are valuable for many food crops, they help mitigate flooding by holding on to rain water and capture vast amounts of carbon. In summer a traditionally-managed, flower-rich meadow becomes a mini jungle, alive with brightly coloured wild flowers, buzzing and chirping insects, and the sweet song of the skylark as it rises and falls overhead. It really is worth your time to hunt out and visit these magical places...
Try these iFootpath walks:
Or visit magnificentmeadows.org.uk to find out more about these wonderful places and support the work to save them.
5 July 2015