In 2013, after reading the 2012, Plantlife report: Our Vanishing Flora, which highlighted the staggering loss of British wild flowers since Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953; King Charles III, (formerly HRH The Prince of Wales), joined forces with The Wildlife Trust, Plantlife and the Rare Breeds Trust; to pledge the restoration and creation of 60 wildflower meadows in honour of his mother.
Ancient wildflower meadows once covered the land, managed by being cut just once a year, the sweet hay was then used to feed and bed livestock, throughout the winter. These fields of flowers were a beautiful sight, filled with colour and buzzing with life. Not only that, they acted as a huge carbon capture and biodiversity improver.
During the reign of Elizabeth II, due to new building and modern farming practices, the UK lost over 98% of its wildflower meadows, leaving a paltry 2%.
Many native plants, which have now become endangered flourished in these native nursery grounds, as did the insects they supported.
The Coronation Meadow plan, was to set up a network of managed meadows, which in turn, would act as donor seed banks, providing native wildflowers to create more meadows locally.
Since 2013, 101 meadows have been created or restored to find a coronation meadow near you, check out your local area here:
Types of meadow and how they are managed:
National Meadows Day
July is peak wildflower time, which is why National Meadows Day falls on the first Saturday of this month. This is a great weekend to visit a meadow near you, to take in their awesome beauty and perhaps be inspired to grown wildflowers yourself.