National Meadows Day takes place on Saturday 1 July, and is dedicated to celebrating and protecting our vanishing wildflower meadows and the wealth of wildlife they support.
This year’s National Meadows Day will be the biggest yet, with over 100 event taking place across the UK.
From barefoot walks and scything workshops, to picnics and bug hunts, people will have the opportunity to experience first-hand the petalled-paradise that is a meadow in summer.
On National Meadows Day we’re celebrating the magical meadows found at Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre in Grangemouth. Children over the age of five can learn how to identify different wildflowers, look for bugs living there and help the Rangers complete a great grassland survey.
Our Falkirk Ranger Clare Toner said: “Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre is an urban oasis in the heart of Grangemouth. Our wild meadow supports many colourful wildflowers like ragged robin, viper’s bugloss, meadow cranesbill and oxeye daisy. Our Magical Meadows event is a great chance to have fun, learn about nature, and find out why these special habitats are important for wildlife.”
National Meadows Day is the headline event of Save Our Magnificent Meadows, the UK’s largest partnership project transforming the fortunes of our vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife, supported by money raised by National Lottery players with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Claire Parton, Save Our Magnificent Meadows Project Manager, said: “Meadows are an increasingly fragile part of our national heritage, but all is not lost. National Meadows Day is the perfect way to explore and enjoy the flowers and wildlife of the area’s magnificent meadows and understand their special place in our shared social and cultural history.
“Beyond being a quintessential sight of summer, meadows’ value to our wildlife cannot be overstated – a single healthy meadow can be home to over 80 species of wild flowers, such as cuckoo flower, yellow rattle, orchids, knapweed and scabious, compared to most modern agricultural pasture which typically supports under a dozen species.”
Just 100 years ago there would have been a meadow in every parish in lowland Scotland, supporting a way of life that had gone on for centuries.
They provided grazing and hay for livestock, employment, and food and medicine, and were part of a community’s cultural and social history. Today, just 3% of the meadows that existed in Britain in the 1930’s remain – a loss of 7.5 million acres of wild flower grassland.