Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Coronation Meadows: One year on

Dr Trevor Dines
Plantlife Botanical Specialist

Over a year has passed since our patron, HRH The Prince of Wales hosted the launch of his ambitious Coronation Meadows project. Much has happened since then and in many ways the real work has now begun. The Prince’s vision to identify a flagship Coronation Meadow in each county and then use green hay from these to literally seed new meadows is gradually taking shape.

Muker Meadows, a Coronation Meadow in North Yorkshire. Image by Don Gamble.

Here are some highlights from the last 12 months:

  • Coronation Meadows have now been identified in all but one of the 72 counties of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (just two counties remain).
  • In Scotland, where there are fewer suitable sites, Coronation Meadows have been identified in 22 of the 34 counties.
  • Restoration work in 2013 saw 12 new meadows created in 12 counties, and many of these are showing spectacular results this year with superb germination following the mild winter and the warm, wet spring.
  • Thanks to a generous grant from Biffa Award, £990k of funding has been secured towards the creation and restoration of meadows across England and Wales over the next 3 years.
  • As a result of this funding, work is underway this summer to create and restore 30 meadows in 24 counties.

Harvesting green hay to seed a new meadow.
The creation and restoration of meadows is not an easy task. It requires lots of planning, site preparation, hard work and skill. The funding from Biffa Award will now pave the way for much of this activity. But it’s matched with an equal amount of enthusiasm from meadow owners and farmers who are beginning to appreciate the true value of flower-rich meadows. With their dedication and help, the vision of a new meadow in every county can be achieved, securing a legacy for the next 60 years.

It also goes without saying that Plantlife could not be leading this project without the support we receive from our members. Why not help us do more by becoming a member?

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