Putting Wales' meadows back on the map
Here in Wales we're working hard to protect our magnificent meadows and are celebrating them this summer with a host of events from barefoot walks to bug hunts.
We’ve teamed up the conservation body Plantlife for Save Our Magnificent Meadows, a campaign to halt the national decline in grasslands, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. More than 97% of wildflower meadows have been destroyed since the 2nd World War and the campaign aims to restore 14,000 glorious, grassy acres across the UK.
Wales has more than 40% of the UK’s wildflower meadows and Ceredigion is ranked among the most important. One of our special places where you can see the conservation work is Llanerchaeron, a working farm and estate which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, brimming with wildlife.
A healthy Ceredigion meadow can be home to more than 150 species of wild plants and flowers, such as red clover, yellow rattle, orchids, knapweed and scabious, compared to modern grassland which supports under ten species. In turn, these wild flowers support other meadow wildlife - and summer is the perfect time to visit and immerse yourself in it all.
Elsewhere, at Bodnant Garden near Conwy families can take a self-guided barefoot walk through the Old Park meadow, which dates back to the Georgian landscaped park of the 1700s. Today it’s a species-rich wildflower grassland managed by traditional, low-level maintenance, cut for hay in August and grazed with sheep in autumn,
Dinefwr Park in Carmarthenshire is another special place with Georgian roots, having been designed by the famous landscape architect Capability Brown. Over the summer you can hop on a tractor for a tour of the estate’s meadows and deer park with their veteran trees.
In Pembrokeshire, the meadows of Colby Woodland Garden have blossomed on a reclaimed industrial site, while those at Southwood Estate have been worked as farmland in the past. Both are now a haven for wildlife and you can explore them on bumblebee and bug hunts, and even campfire cooking and bushcraft days.
For more information about Save Our Magnificent Meadows and events near you, see http://www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk and download a Plantlife guide to Wales meadows here http://www.plantlife.org.uk/publications/welshmeadows
" Our meadows are spectacular landscapes to be in and we hope the events going on across Wales and supported by the National Trust will act as a catalyst to raise awareness of this increasingly rare and fragile part of our natural heritage."