The flora and fauna of Packwood's meadows
Packwood’s meadows are a lively feeding and nesting ground for a huge variety of insects, birds and small animals. The array of flowers and tall grasses, bursting with colour, are an attractive feature at Packwood and look their best during the summer months.
We have an abundance of meadows surrounding the house here at Packwood. One of our oldest continuously maintained meadows is over three hundred years old and is located to the south east and south west of Packwood Lane in what is known as the ‘Outer Court’.
In recent years the garden team have added native daffodils to this area as well as to the lakeside meadow, north west court meadow and the ‘Wildlife Corridor’ around the edge of the car park to enhance the early spring display. This will usually be followed by impressive displays of dogs tooth violets, cowslips, ladies smock, buttercup, selfheal, vetch, pignut, and many other wildflowers.
We are very pleased to be able to include in this list five different types of native orchids: an abundance of twayblade, southern marsh orchid, common spotted orchid and the rarer bee and butterfly orchids.
The meadows are cut in the middle of July and all the hay is removed and composted. We ‘top’ the meadows again at the end of August and give them their final cut in late October. This is done to reduce the fertility of the soil ensuring as little nitrogen feeds back underground. Usually the poorer the soil the greater opportunity for diversity of wildflowers.
In sensitive areas close to the garden you may find metal hoop-like barriers and some interpretation asking our visitors to be careful to keep to the grass paths at their edges. These are our native flowers and can sometimes be innocently over looked in winter when the meadows are short and the footfall creates compaction. Their importance has been registered with the Warwickshire Wildlife Association who survey the meadows for us to discover more about their flora and insect richness.