The High Weald Partnership is highlighting the importance of meadow habitats, as attractions and communities across the UK prepare to celebrate Meadows Day on Saturday 1 July.
The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a national ‘hotspot’ for meadows; as one of the best surviving medieval landscapes in Europe, the area has one of the highest concentrations of the UK’s remaining meadow habitats. These species-rich grasslands can support a huge range of wildlife including wildflowers, fungi, insects, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, bats and birds.
The High Weald Partnership runs a year-round programme of activity providing techniques and guidance for landowners on how to create, enhance and protect wildflower grasslands. Recent events include ‘Managing Your Meadows’ at Beech Farm Estate near Battle with local expert Keith Datchler and a workshop highlighting the importance of pollinators at Wadhurst Park, in partnership with insect conservation charity Buglife.
Jason Lavender, High Weald director, says: “Meadows are extremely important and complex ecosystems that provide food and shelter for a wide range of species. We are encouraging residents across the High Weald to get out and about and learn more about these precious habitats, and perhaps even create their own meadow in their local community or private garden. It doesn’t need to be big, every square metre counts!”
Organised by wild plant conservation charity Plantlife, National Meadows Day is a growing national event which celebrates wildflower grasslands, providing an opportunity to showcase the huge range of wildflowers and species that make up these vital habitats. For more information, visit http://www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk/celebrating-meadows/national-meadows-day
DID YOU KNOW? 3 million hectares of flower-rich grassland has been lost in the UK since the 1930s - equivalent to 1.5 times the size of Wales (Buglife)
Check out these beautiful meadow habitats across the High Weald:
• Scotney Castle Meadows Event: Come to Scotney to discover more about our wild meadows and how we manage them. Activities will include scything demonstrations and bug sweeping in the wild meadows.
More info at: http://www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk/visit-learn/event/discovering-wild-meadows-kent
• Sheffield Park & Garden Bioblitz: Help us on National Meadows Day to identify as many species as possible on the parkland and floodplain meadow. Join a nature expert on a walk or try one of our family-friendly wildlife themed activities.
More info at: http://www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk/visit-learn/event/bioblitz-at-sheffield-park-and-garden-east-sussex
• Brakeybank Wildflower Meadow Day, Tudeley Woods: Come and explore the Brakeybank Wildflower Meadow at RSPB’s Tudeley Woods Nature Reserve.
More info at: http://www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk/visit-learn/event/brakeybank-wildflower-meadow-day-kent
• High Beeches Wildflower Meadow: One of Plantlife’s top seven wildflower gardens, High Beeches has one of the finest ancient, acid wildflower meadows in the country with more than 50 species of wildflowers and grasses attracting numerous insects, butterflies and moths.
More info at: http://www.highbeeches.com/wildflower-meadow
Learn more about meadows management in the High Weald.