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Celebrate National Meadows Day 2017

National Meadows Day is celebrated on the first Saturday of July every year, this year that falls on Saturday 1 July. It is a day when the nation celebrates wildflower grasslands, with many landowners showcasing the amazing wildflowers and species within their meadows. Find out about these stunning landscapes and events happening today from across the UK…

meadow viewThe first National Meadows Day was held on 4th July 2015, as part of Save Our Magnificent Meadows, the UK’s largest partnership project transforming the fortunes of vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife. In 2016 over 100 events took place across the UK.

There were once natural wildflower meadows in every UK parish – today only 2% of the meadows that existed in the 1930s remain.  Nearly 7.5 million acres of wildflower meadow have been lost so far and they are still being destroyed.  Of those that do survive, around 75% occur in small fragments and remain vulnerable to destruction. Meadows and species-rich grasslands can support a huge range of wildlife including wildflowers, fungi, bees, flies, beetles, spiders, moths, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, bats and birds.

Feedback from the 2016 event showed that many people attending National Meadow Day events were surprised by the diversity of the flora and sheer number of insects and reptiles found in the meadows they visited. This really reinforced the importance of meadow preservation, and of the role of the National Meadows Day events in educating the public about this important habitat that is fast disappearing.

Find all the events happening across the UK, 115 in total, on the Magnificent Meadows website at http://www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk/visit-learn/whats-on, or just head out on an iFootpath walk this month to enjoy the glory of wildflower meadows. You might want to create a small wildflower meadow of your own (the iFootpath small front lawn is a wildflower meadow mowed just once a year) or volunteer to help with conservation work near you.

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