Celebrating our meadows at Bodnant Garden

Old Park meadow in summer with Bodnant Hall in distance

Join us this summer 2019 celebrating meadows and all the wonderful wildlife that live in them. We'll be supporting National Meadows Day in July and the Big Butterfly Count in August with a host of activities for all the family to enjoy together.

We look after three wildflower grasslands at Bodnant Garden and are doing our bit to halt the decline in meadows nationwide. Today in the UK there remains only 3% of the meadows which existed in the 1930s – that’s a loss of 7.5 million acres of wildflower grassland. Many iconic meadow flowers such as Ragged Robin, Harebell and Field Scabious are now on a watch list, threatening the wildlife which depend upon them, including bees which play a key role in pollinating our plants.

Here at Bodnant Garden we’ve developed a grassland management plan for our 15 acres of meadows which involves low level, traditional annual maintenance such as cutting grass and removing the hay in August, grazing the land with sheep in the autumn, also collecting and sowing the seeds such as Yellow Rattle to encourage wildflowers. Just as importantly, we’ve been extending access so visitors can enjoy them; the Old Park was opened to the public in 2012, Furnace Meadow opened in 2017 and Cae Poeth Meadow will open in the near future.

Summer activities 2019

We're celebrating National Meadows Day 2019 on the weekend of 6 and 7 June with Mindful Meadow Moments. Take a stroll through the Old Park and look out for the simple activities along the way, like listening to the birds, smelling the flowers and watching a bee. This free walk is self led and suitable for children and adults

On 27 and 28 July we're throwing a Beefest weekend at the garden. Join us on the Canal Terrace where we'll be setting up activities celebrating meadows, wildlife and our very own Bodnant bees. We established hives here at the garden two years ago so come along and learn about how they are helping the garden grow!

In August you can join us for the Big Butterfly Count. This annual project launched by Sir David Attenborough in 2010 has become the world's biggest survey of butterflies.The Big Butterfly Count 2019 will take place from 19 July - 11 August. Just pick up your chart from our welcome centre when you arrive and do some spotting here in the garden, or find out more about how to take part at home: https://www.bigbutterflycount.org/about

National Meadows Day is part of the Save Our Magnificent Meadows campaign led by the conservation body Plantlife. National Trust Wales is a leading partner in the campaign and events are taking place at NT meadows around the country. For more information go to http://magnificent.meadows@plantlife.org.uk

Bodnant Garden events officer Charlie Stretton says: “Come along this summer, take a summer stroll and experience first-hand the wonder of a flower-rich meadow.”