Our blog & news: Get involved to help wildlife


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 
Margaret Mead, American anthropologist, 1901-1978

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  1. Help the Devon Wildlife Trust support Meadow Makers!

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    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:

    • Time
    • The most suitable wildflower seeds
    • Access to the right equipment
    • The know-how to manage a meadow in its earliest stages.

    Support the Devon Wildlife Trust's crowdfunder here

    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!

    Click here to help make more meadows and support the crowdfunder

    You can select a reward, depending on what you donate - £5 will give you a six page guide on creating a wildlife meadow for instance.

    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!

    Click here to help make more meadows and support the crowdfunder



  2. Every Flower Counts!

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    Every Flower Counts!

    That’s what bees think – so from 11th to 19th July, count the flowers on your lawn.  You can get your own Personal Nectar Score to find out how many bees it can feed!

    Plantlife want to know what’s on your lawn.  Is your lawn giving a bee feast or a bee snack?

    Every flower makes a difference because it provides essential nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other insects. 

    The more wild flowers you’ve got in your lawn, the more nectar it will produce. 

    If you took part in #NoMowMay or #LetItBloomJune or you haven’t mown at all this year, you’re more likely to have more flowers and tons more nectar! 

    When everyone has submitted their results, Plantlife are going to calculate a National Nectar Index to show how all our lawns across Britain are helping to feed our vital pollinators.

    They will also reveal the Top Ten Lawn Flowers and show us all how to increase the number of flowers in our lawns!

    Why not set yourself a challenge:  see how many wild flowers you’ve got in your lawn this year and see what you can do to increase it next year? 

    We've stopped mowing sections of our lawn and it's amazing how many more insects we've got - we're loving our own nature show!

    Buzz off to Every Flower Counts


  3. Don't Mow in May - join Plantlife for this citizen science project

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    Good news for those of you who don’t like mowing your lawn and would love a really good reason not to bother.

    Well, mowing the lawn could attract 10 x the number of bees that you would usually get!

    Give bees a Super Lawn!

    Lawns cut every four weeks are being called “super lawns” and it’s reckoned that they attract 4,000 bees a day on average.

    However, those cut regularly to keep them neat and tidy bring in just an average of 400 bees a day.

    This is a HUGE difference. 

    Take part in a citizen science project:  Every Flower Counts!

    This has all been worked out by charity Plantlife.   They’ve got an Every Flower Counts survey.  Nearly 2,000 households were asked how often they mow their lawns; and then they were asked to count the number of wild flowers in one squared patches.

    Daisies were most abundant on lawns, followed by white clover and the violet coloured selfheal.

    Asking those surveyed to count 24 different wildflowers, Plantlife could work out how much nectar the whole garden produced – and how many bees that could support.

    And that’s where they discovered that one in five lawns called super lawns would entice ten times more bees.

    Let your lawn grow

    So Plantlife advise that we keep sections of our lawn long so that we can support wild flowers such as oxeye daisy, field scabious, knapweed and even orchids.   Daisies and white clover are short stemmed wild plants – they produce more flowers if cut back once a month.

    So some parts of your lawn should have a monthly cut to boost short plants.  And we should all put aside an area for longer grass – what Plantlife call a Mohican haircut!

    Bees and butterflies need different sorts of flowers.  Combine them, and the lawns in the survey produced 50lb of nectar a day – and that’s enough to support over 2 million honeybees.

    Count your flowers and report in 

    So our task is to work out which parts of the lawn to short cut, which to leave long, and then to put the kettle on and settle down with a cuppa and listen to the birdsong!  

    And one final thing to do....

    Count the flowers on your lawn and find out how many bees it can support!  The more flowers in your lawn, and the more types of flowers you've got, the more bees you'll be able to support.

    Every Flower Counts takes palce from 23rd to 31st May 2020 so let Plantlife know your results!

    From your results, Plantlife can calculate a National Nectar Index to show how lawns in Britain are helping to feed pollinators.  And they'll show you how you can increase the number of flowers in your lawn! 



  4. Please see this video from Gravitas - how nature is reclaiming its spaces due to the Coronavirus

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    Sometimes you see something on the internet or on television that really hits you hard and makes a point extremely well.

    I saw this video, this afternoon, and I wanted to share it with you.  Please share it with everyone you can.

    The ultimate message is that we SHARE this planet.  It demonstrates how dominant the human race has become - and how selfish.   I am not going to tell you anymore about it - please just watch it for yourself.   Here it is:

    Thank you, Gravitas.

    Please vow to make a difference today. 
    Find out how to reduce your impact on the earth's resources here.





  5. Road verges - a silver lining? says Plantlife

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    If I’m driving along in my car, I always find the wildlife flowers on our verges to be very uplifting to see.

    And whilst I’ve been having my daily one walk during the lockdown because of the coronavirus, I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the wild flowers which are about.

    Please give Plantlife your support with their Road Verge Campaign

    Please give Plantlife your support with their Road Verge Campaign

    Plantlife is a charity that works nationally and internationally to raise the profile of our wild flowers, plants and our fungi.  They support our wildlife and they are vital.  Their colour and character give us cheer and brighten up our day and journeys.

    It’s really important to protect our wild flowers, our plants and our fungi.  And our roadsides have been much quieter of late, as lockdown is observed.  The drone of many councils’ mowers have also fall silent as councils may have reduced grass cutting down to the minimum required to maintain visibility and make sure our roads are safe.

    Plantlife hope that reduced cutting frequencies may help verge wildflowers to grow, flower and set seed.  Flowers such as the white campion, betony, greater knapweed and harebell, the chance to grow, flower and set seed. 

    The good news is that a more wildlife-friendly management regime will help tackle climate change.

    Flowers on a road verge are an uplifting sight

    Over 300 local authorities have now declared a climate emergency.   Reducing their cutting regimes, as recommended in Plantlife’s management guidelines, will also help councils bring down carbon emissions. 

    Hopefully it won’t be long before we can all get outside and enjoy the wild flowers along our roadside.  Meantime, please visit Plantlife’s website to see how you can support their “Support the road verge campaign.”