Meadows Day at Runnymede and Ankerwycke
This article related to our Meadows Day events in 2017. We'll be updating it again later for 2018.
Saturday 1 July, 10.30am-4pm
11.30am - Guided meadows walk (free)
Throughout the day - Make a seed bomb (50p)
Throughout the day - Wildflower ID with a ranger
Once a feature of every parish in Surrey, meadows are now an increasingly fragile part of our national heritage. National Meadows Day is the perfect way to explore and enjoy the flowers and wildlife of Runnymede's magnificent meadows and understand their special place in our shared social and cultural history. Make a day of it with a guided walk (don't forget your picnic basket), and help our rangers plant new wildflowers for the bees by making a seed bomb.
Have you spotted a wildflower you don't know the name of? Just ask Laura Summerbell, our friendly ranger, who'll be on hand all day to solve your burning ID questions. Help her collect a record of the plant species at Runnymede - you might be surprised how many different grasses there are in just a small area once you look.
Why are meadows important?
Beyond being a quintessential sight of summer, meadows' value to our wildlife cannot be overstated - a single healthy meadow can be home to over 80 species of wild flowers, such as cuckoo flower, yellow rattle, orchids, knapweed and scabious, compared to most modern agricultural pasture which typically supports under a dozen species.
Historically, meadows supported a way of life that had gone on for centuries. They provided grazing and hay for livestock, employment, and food and medicine for the parish and were part of a community's cultural and social history. Today, just 3% of the meadows that existed in the 1930’s remain (5) – that’s a loss of 7.5 million acres of wild flower grassland. We take care of the meadows at Runnymede in much the same traditional fashion, with the aim of protecting this special habitat.