Today is National Meadows Day, but why are wildflower meadows important?
National Meadows Day is an annual day that celebrates wildflower meadows in the UK. Sadly, our meadows have been reducing in numbers for some years, with only 2% of meadows in the UK that existed in the 1930s remaining.
Why are meadows important?
Meadows play a significant role in nature and offer many environmental benefits, such as carbon storage, water retention and flood prevention. As well as making for a good habitat for crop pollinators, they also provide support for a huge range of species and wildlife.
Species supported by meadows include: fungi, wildlflowers, bees, beetles, spiders, moths, butterflies (papillons), reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, bats and birds. Many of these are priority species that have been identified as being the most threatened and require conservation action under the UK Boidiversity Action Plan (UK BAP).
Featured below is a meadow that Papillon installed in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, last year. Within 12 months, it has grown to waste height and looking fantastic. It blends in nicely with the surrounding countryside and is doing its bit to help nature!
Save Our Magnificent Meadows is the UK’s largest partnership project aiming to transform the fortunes of vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project is helping to increase the number of wildflower meadows and grasslands in the UK and giving people the chance to learn about wildflower meadows and grasslands, visit them and enjoy them. For more information visit: www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk.
Designing a garden with a meadow
From a design perspective, wildflower meadows can be a great use of unused space. As well as the environmental benefits, they are pleasing on the eye and easy to manage. Not only are they suitable for large spaces, but they can also be scaled down and used in smaller gardens too, where wildflower patches can be turned into features and cordoned off with stylish panels.
For families with small children, the kids can get involved and play an active role in planting them and managing them. Maintaining a wildflower meadow is a straight forward process. They will need a little attention to help with their development and cut back on overpowering grasses, but, on the whole, they are easy to look after.
For more information on installing a meadow, please contact Papillon directly.