24 / June / 2015
Oxeye daisies, buttercups, clustered bellflowers and field scabious – the beauty of a British wildflower meadow is a wonder for everyone to enjoy. Next weekend, to celebrate these special spaces, and to raise awareness of their striking decline, the first ever National Meadows Day is being launched on Saturday 4 July 2015.
“I’ve always loved wildflower meadows as they are in essence the very best that summer has to offer,” says TV presenter and naturalist Mike Dilger, who’s proud to be supporting National Meadows Day. “They are home to a wealth of rare plants and wildlife, and are fantastic places to nourish the body, mind and soul. I can count very few pleasures more enjoyable then visiting a meadow in the height of summer and getting down to the plants' level with little more than my plant identification book and an eye lens! However, in recent years, we have lost an astonishing amount of our meadows. That’s why National Meadows Day is so important. This day of celebration is about engaging the public with these most precious of green spaces and showing what can be done to restore them, and ensure their safety for future generations.”
Family-friendly events, including meadow picnics, bug hunts and wildflower walks, are taking place, in a campaign that will do for wildflower meadows what Open Farm Sunday has done for farming – help the public to connect and fall in love with the countryside, and gain a better understanding of why these vital habitats need our help. National Meadows Day is being organised by Save Our Magnificent Meadows – the UK’s largest partnership project to transform the fortunes of our vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife, led by Plantlife and primarily funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Marian Spain, Chief Executive of Plantlife says: “I can’t think of a more pleasurable place to be than a meadow in midsummer but for many people this is now only a dream. Meadows have, for too long, been the Cinderellas of the conservation world – lesser known, lesser protected and lesser funded than other habitats. National Meadows Day and The Save Our Magnificent Meadows partnership are giving them the attention they deserve”.
Alan Kearsley-Evans of the National Trust, one of the project partners says: “National Meadows Day is crucial in helping us turn the tide on the long-term decline of meadows. Rich in flowers such as yellow rattle, red clover, bird’s foot trefoil, black knapweed and early purple orchid, these spaces provide the perfect habitat for pollinators, including butterflies, bumblebees and moths – all of which are struggling to survive throughout the UK. By working together, though, we can safeguard their future and really make a difference – while enjoying ourselves, at the same time.”