Traditional hay meadows are a beautiful part of the UK’s countryside, and are a rich and colourful habitat full of flowers and grasses. These man-made environments have been present in Britain for thousands of years, and are reliant on the traditional agricultural practices of grazing and haymaking to survive. The cycle of cutting and grazing at the right time of year, encourages the diversity of wild flower species and prevents the grasses from taking over. The variety of flowers also attract lots of insects, and this, in turn, encourages the animals that feed on them, as well as our wild grazing animals.
Sadly, due to the intensification of farming methods over the last century, it is estimated that a staggering 97% of meadows have been lost, and the once familiar flower filled meadows are now most likely found on one of the UK’s nature reserves.
We are fortunate enough to have a wonderful 170-acre area of lowland hay meadow not far from our home. Farmed in the traditional way since the 1950s, Clattinger Farm is managed by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, and is home to some rare and beautiful species of wild flowers. As you can see from the photos, it absolutely stunning.
Thankfully, our Wildlife Trusts and other organisations, are passionate about restoring wildflower-rich meadows, and by doing so, protecting the wildlife that they support. The links below contain places across the country where you can find a wildflower meadow near you.
Why not visit a wildflower meadow during #30DaysWild x