When His Royal Highness Prince Charles read Plantlife UK’s annual report for 2012, he was surprised to find that England had lost 97% of all its natural wildflower meadows.
Charles then organized the Coronation Meadows Initiative, who helped build 60 wildflower meadows per year since her mother, the Queen, took over the throne.
But not only did 60 turn into 90, totaling more than 1,000 acres, turning old paddocks and verges into wildflower meadows became the rage in national landscaping and gardening, and various environmental charities and societies are using these trends to promote pollinator restoration, carbon sequestration and all other forms of ecological benefits.
In Ipswich, on the south east coast of the UK, a valley that empties into a picturesque river was turned into a landfill in the 1960s and loaded with rubbish. In 2017, Landseer Park was turned into a 50-acre wildflower and pollinator sanctuary by a charity called Buglife, home to rare species of bees and butterflies such as the dark green fritillary.
Local reporter Ross Bentley describes the meadows in loving nationalistic detail when he wrote for the East Anglian Times.
“Such is the subtle majesty of our native wildflowers that their beauty is only apparent up close: the rugged field lilac; the flamboyant blue quills of the viper’s bugloss; the honey-scented yellow lady’s quilt, names that evoke images of their use centuries ago, when people better understood the properties of our natural flora. “
“When the sun shines in England”
For Forbes Adam, stepping on his old barley field freshly meadows is like stepping on “25 acres of hope.”
His plan was to restore an ancient habitat type across much of the North Atlantic called “wooded meadows,” which are exactly what they sound like: a mosaic of trees, grasses and flowers that marry creatures of the meadow to those of the forest. , and that can still be found in Scandinavia today.
So far, Adam has recorded more than 1,000 different species of invertebrates, according to an interview he gave to The Guardian, including 34 species of bees and 26 butterflies.
She now runs the Woodmeadow Trust, a charity that helps advise homeowners on creating this type of iconic English habitat everywhere from Yorkshire in the north to London in the south, and whose aspiration is “a wooded meadow in every parish.”
Finally, the much larger Plantlife UK charity hopes to capitalize on this wildflower appreciation trend, and restore 120,000 hectares (360,000 acres) of wildflower meadows across the country for the next 22 years.
They practice natural planting techniques, which involve harvesting seeds at different times from local strains of plant species and planting areas with this stock rather than buying wildflower seeds from a store.
The difference is that the seeds collected naturally will create plants that grow and produce nectar and flowers at different rates, which means that the season during which pollinators can find food and humans can wander among the beautiful petals will be much longer.
Plant Life’s Magnificent Meadows websites contain all kinds of resources for making your own wildflower meadow and how to get involved in the movement to save the english prairie, an important piece of ecological identity, as Alice Duer Miller discloses in The White Cliffs:
When the sun shines on England, rays of light,
Fall on distant towers and hills and old dark trees,
And meadows surrounded by hedges so bright green
As bright as the blue of tropical seas.
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