Wildflower rich meadows are crucial to wildlife.
Bees, butterflies and other pollinators all benefit from them, and they also give food and shelter to animals such as owls and bats.
The problem is that traditional wildflower meadows have practically disappeared from our countryside and replaced with uniform green grassed industrial-fertilized fields.
There are few flowers who can survive in this landscape and that means pollinating insects have declined.
In Devon, the Culm grasslands to the north of Dartmoor are very important because they support both wildflowers and wild creatures – yet only 10% of the wildflower rich grasslands of 100 years ago are still in a good condition in north Devon today.
There is, however, hope for our meadows:
Lost wildflower meadows can be restored
Lost wildflower meadows can be restored to richness, and colour, and life using different methods. The Devon Wildlife Trust has been working with landowners to do that for years.
All you need to make a meadow for wildlife on a patch of grassland is:
The goodwill is there – people want to act for wildlife
In 2019, supporters helped back the Devon Wildlife Trust’s Blooming Wild Devon crowdfunder to bring wildflowers back to the countryside in North Devon and the South Hams and also to increase wildflowers in urban green spaces. As a result of an amazing effort, supporters enabled the Trust to restore, improve or create 9,482 acres of wildflower-rich grassland – the equivalent of 278 football pitches!
Now the Trust wants to support people to make meadows wherever they live in Devon – in fields, road verges and gardens! The aim is to have a county of Meadow Makers!
At the same time, more and more people want to help create wildflower meadows, and they are asking the Trust for advice on how they can increase the diversity and abundance of native wildflowers on their own land.
This gave the Devon Wildlife Trust an idea!
The Devon Meadow Makers is a hub sharing knowledge, expertise and access to equipment and wildflower seed so that new meadows can be created across Devon.
A crowdfunder has been launched to set this idea into reality and if you support it with a pledge of £8 or more, you can choose from a range of wildflower seed mixes to start your own meadow!
Meadow Makers will need specialist seed harvesting kit, sowing drills and other machinery on a loan basis (to save people buying it) to give meadows the best possible start.
By sharing expert knowledge and practical support, this will create a network of wildflower meadows – join them up, and wildlife will have their own byways so that they won’t get stuck on one site!
The Devon Wildlife Trust needs to raise £6,000 to turn the Devon’s Meaqdow Makers idea into a reality.
This is a great idea – it will give Devon a lot more wildflower meadows, help our pollinators and other wildlife – and the great thing about it is that you don’t need a large garden to join in!