National Meadows Day, an annual event helping to raise awareness about the importance of meadow preservation, is taking place across the UK on Saturday 6 July.
The event celebrates wildflower grasslands in cities, villages, wildlife reserves, allotment or farms. National Meadows Day is an opportunity for people across the UK to showcase the wildflowers and species they have on their sites and in their communities.
Among the events taking place on National Meadows Day are guided walks, wildlife hunts, arts & crafts, training workshops and more.
Meadows and other species-rich grasslands are an intrinsic part of the UK’s natural and cultural heritage – rich in landscape character, farming, folklore and history.
According to nature conservation project Save Our Magnificent Meadows, six million acres of grassland was ploughed to grow cereals during the Second World War and this started a process which would see the area of lowland meadows decline by 97% in the following 40 years. Nearly 7.5 million acres of wildflower meadow have been lost so far and they are still being destroyed. Of those that do survive, around 75% occur in small fragments and remain vulnerable to destruction.
Meadows and species-rich grasslands can support a huge range of wildlife including wildflowers, fungi, bees, flies, beetles, spiders, moths, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, bats and birds. In the UK, more priority species are associated with grasslands than with any other habitat type. Only 1% of the UK’s land area now supports species-rich grassland and only 2% of the UK’s grasslands are species-rich. Species-rich grasslands also provide other environmental benefits including carbon storage, water retention to prevent flooding and habitat for crop pollinators.
For a list of events taking place throughout the UK on National Meadows Day, visit the Save Our Magnificent Meadows website.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com