Grasslands: the inside story

Homeware from the National Trust Grasslands shop collection

Every season our designers take inspiration from the unique landscapes and buildings we care for to create exclusive prints for our shop collections. This spring, the new Grasslands collection has been inspired by untamed meadows and wildlife-rich grasslands.

With print designs of wildflowers, rippling grass and seed heads blowing in the wind, the collection highlights the often overlooked beauty of the UK’s grasslands and meadows.

Not only does the collection give you the chance to bring the spirit of these special places into your home, every purchase supports vital conservation work. Read on for the story of how our designers created this unique range.

Meadow at A la Ronde

What makes grasslands special?

Grasslands and hay meadows are an important part of our landscape. They can be home to hundreds of species of wild plants and flowers and provide a habitat for bees, butterflies and many other animals to thrive. But today only 3% of the meadows that existed in the 1930s still remain. With our spring collection, we wanted to highlight the beauty and diversity of these places which can sometimes be overlooked.

Our designers met with ranger Paul Rowland at Sutton Lane Meadow, Wiltshire

Where did our designers find inspiration?

When looking for inspiration for the new collection, our designers visited Sutton Lane Meadows in Wiltshire. They were shown the meadow by National Trust ranger Paul Rowland. He pointed out all the plants you can see over the spring and summer months, such as dandelions, knapweed, orchids and buttercups. They also looked at other places that the National Trust look after, including the grasslands at Wimpole in Cambridgeshire and the fields leading down to the sea at The Vile in the Gower.

" These wildflower meadows are special because in so many places they are in decline. Places like Sutton Lane Meadows are species-rich little islands in a sea of agriculture. We’re looking after them so that future generations can come back and continue to enjoy them."
- Paul Rowland, Ranger at Sutton Lane Meadows
Painting the Sutton Lane Meadows print

The movement of nature

When you look closely at meadows and grassland you see that they are never completely still, as they are always full of life. Our designers wanted to capture this movement in our prints so painted with watercolours and inks in a loose, free flowing way. They also wanted to evoke a sense of calm and give an impression of the sights and sounds you might experience when you’re sitting amongst wild grasses, from the buzz of bees to the rustle of crickets.

New for 2019, these cushion designs were inspired by wildlife-rich meadows

Saving Llanerchaeron's meadows

Although hay meadows and species-rich grasslands may be declining nationally, at Llanerchaeron in Ceredigion they are thriving. Thanks to careful conservation work over the last four years, they have been brought back to life and are now full of life and colour. To celebrate this, we created a print for spring inspired by buttercups in the hay meadows at Llanerchaeron. You’ll see the design this spring on cushions, throws, scarves and bags.

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