Langdale Wildflower Meadows

Wildflower meadows in Langdale Cumbria

In Langdale we have been working with our tenant farmer Mike Toms who has restored three wildflower meadows in the valley. This July, to celebrate National Meadows Day, we would like to invite you to come along and find out more about them.

Meadows are making a come back

The history of wildflower meadows stretches several hundred years, with farmers cutting the hay once a year and drying it to provide winter feed for their animals. Once the colourful staple of our countryside, 97% of meadows have been lost since the 1930s. Fortunately wildflower haymeadows have seen a resurgence in recent years.

A haven for wildlife

Established wildflower haymeadows can support a staggering 50 plants per square metre – providing a huge food and nectar source for wildlife. From pollinators such as bees and butterflies to birds such as the pied flycatcher, meadows are alive and vibrant for several long summer months.

Every year the meadows in Langdale show more signs of improvement as sensitive management enables more wildflower species to gain a foothold. This provides nectar and pollen for a wider range of insects, in turn providing food for small mammals and birds. By surveying wildflowers and key species such as butterflies, we get a good indication of the health of the habitat.

What can you do?

By planting local wildflower seed mixes in garden borders you can provide lively new home for insects, birds and small animals. Help the wildflowers to compete with faster-growing grass species by cutting and removing them once a year in late summer to lower nutrient levels in the soil. The cuttings can produce fantastic home compost when turned regularly and mixed with leaf litter and plant debris.

Not a gardener?

Then simply come along to one of our free guided walks in Langdale to learn more about the meadows and enjoy their beauty.

We are offering free guided walks to the Langdale meadows every Wednesday throughout July, leaving Sticklebarn car park at 1pm.