Celebrating our meadows at Bodnant Garden

Old Park meadow in summer with Bodnant Hall in distance

This summer we’re supporting the Big Butterfly Count recently launched by Sir David Attenborough.

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 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 2019.

Summer activities 2018

This summer we joined Friends of the Earth for the Great British Bee Count in May and June, and celebrated National Meadows Day in July with a Beefest at the garden. In August you can join us for the butterfly count - just pick up your handy chart from our welcome centre when you arrive and do some spotting.

Events officer Charlie Stretton says: “Come along this summer take a summer stroll and experience first-hand the wonder of a flower-rich meadow - kick off your shoes and go barefoot! Pick up one of our wildflower checklists to do your own nature trail.”

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://www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk