Celebrating Meadows

The UK’s wildlife-rich grasslands are important for their own sake and because they are valuable to society.

Save our Magnificent Meadows wants to help communities cherish and celebrate the wonders of their local wildlife-rich grasslands and appreciate their important role within our culture. We want to ensure the sound, smell and colour of one of the most precious pieces of our countryside are placed firmly back in our consciousness. 

Despite most people in the UK living urban lives, people still feel a direct connection with grasslands such as meadows, because of their strong cultural and historical associations, the village green and common land being a fundamental part of our shared folklore. No longer central to agricultural production and fuelling the horse-powered transport age, wildlife-rich grasslands are now appreciated for other values – from biodiversity and archaeological conservation, to ecosystem services such as carbon storage and pollination. They feature prominently in folklore, and their beauty is inspirational in literature, music and painting.

We are holding a Doric Poetry Competition, encouraging Doric speakers of all ages to set pen to paper to celebrate meadows and their amazing wildlife.

Take a look at our Meadows and Grasslands Awards where communities and schools groups are encouraged to tell us their stories about how they have conserved and restored meadows.  This award is to celebrate the unsung heroes of the conservation world, who set a fantastic example to others about how to protect our meadows.

The National Meadow Photography Competition is now open for those budding photographers who can capture the beauty of meadows and inspire others to visit them.

Thomas Hardy celebrated meadows and pastures in his Wessex Novels:

“Their gauzy skirts had brushed up from the grass innumerable flies and butterflies which, unable to escape, remained caged in the transparent tissue as in an aviary.”
(Tess of the d’Urbervilles 1891). 

Meadow traditions or sayings:

  • The tradition of holding a buttercup under a child’s chin – if it’s yellow then they like butter.
  • “chalk and cheese”
  • “one man went to mow, went to mow a meadow….”