It took around 6,000 years to create the species-rich grassland for which the UK is globally famous
Yet in less than a century we have lost 97%
(Above, Plantlife nature reserves in order: 1. Joans Hill Farm in Herefordshire, 2. Seaton Meadows in Rutland, 3. Deep Dale in Derbyshire).
Covering less than 1% of UK land, these remaining isolated fragments are home to an unprecedented richness of species; hundreds of different wild flowers and fungi have co-evolved over millennia with farmers managing the land as hay meadows and pasture. This unparalleled plant diversity provides the life support for our invertebrates, birds, mammals.
- Stand in a field of intensively farmed grassland and, despite the apparent lushness at your feet, barely any life will be evident.
No movement, no sound, no colour...
- Stand in a meadow in midsummer and the hum of life around you is almost overwhelming:
Bees, butterflies, birdsong, and colour...
What Plantlife is calling for:
The last surviving 3% of meadows via increased legal protection and a national inventory to sit alongside our Ancient Woodland Inventory.
120,000 hectares of species-rich grassland by 2043 and use of natural seeding techniques to ensure local character.
Our meadows by supporting local action and celebrating their heritage.
Action now for species-rich grasslands
Created by the Save Our Magnificent Meadows partnership, led by Plantlife, this is a clarion call to protect, love and restore our meadows and species-rich grassland against the creeping normality that they no longer matter.
Plantlife is making a difference:
Save Our Magnificent Meadows
From the lowland meadows of East Lothian and the grasslands of Fermanagh, to the rush pastures of west Wales and the hillside grasslands of the Cotswolds and North Downs, the HLF funded Magnificent Meadows project is taking emergency action to prevent their disappearance.
At the end of 2012, HRH The Prince of Wales suggested a remarkable nationwide project – a meadow in every county to mark the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation. Dubbed 'Coronation Meadows' we've been working with our partners at the Wildlife Trusts and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust to fulfill his vision.
From the upland meadows of Deep Dale in Derbyshire to some of the last remaining Cornish Culm grassland at Greena Moor and the orchid-filled fields of Joans Hill Farm in Herefordshire, Plantlife strives to protect precious places...
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