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Help us Save our Magnificent Meadows

Have your say and help us save the UK’s last meadows.

November 07 2012

© Beth Newman/Plantlife

© Beth Newman/Plantlife

For the first time, the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a unique partnership of conservation charities and local councils - led by Plantlife – funds to plan a national natural heritage project to protect and conserve the UK’s remaining fragments of meadows.

Nearly 7.5 million acres have been lost so far and they are still being destroyed. And once gone, they are irreplaceable.

What is a meadow?

Meadows of native wild flowers are enjoying a huge vogue in gardening; they look beautiful and attract wildlife, particularly threatened pollinators. But the real wild flower meadows are vanishing – and with them our native flowers such as green-winged orchid, oxlip, dyer’s greenweed and meadow saffron. Meadows and grasslands are an intrinsic part of the UK’s natural and cultural heritage: rich in landscape character, folklore and history, they are as much a part of our heritage as the works of Shakespeare.

There were once natural wildflower meadows in every parish – today only 2% of the meadows that existed in the 1930's remain.

The Save our Magnificent Meadows project aims to protect, conserve and restore wildflower meadows across the UK, and will focus on the Fermanagh grasslands of Northern Ireland, the pastures of west Wales, the East Lothian lowland meadows, the calaminarian and whin grasslands of Northumberland and traditional meadows and grassland areas in southern England.

Two key aims are:

  1. to raise awareness of their importance with the general public
  2. to raise awareness to their importance with landowners and those who manage the land.

To help us find out more about what people know and to give them a chance to tell us how they would like to be help in the fight to save meadows and grasslands we’ve set up an online survey - click here to take part.

Vikki Fenner, Plantlife's Development Manager for the project, said: “Until recently, wild flowers had a prominent place in our imaginations. They were familiar to anyone who walked in the country and we knew their names."

"So, we are absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us and our partner organisations the chance to save what’s left of the UK’s meadows in key areas, for our children and our children’s children. A vital part of this planning is finding out what people know about wildflower meadows and grasslands and how they’d like to get involved in the fight to protect, conserve and restore them."

"The UK’s wildflower meadows and grasslands are facing a very uncertain future. We want to encourage as many people as possible to complete our online survey. Everyone can help us make a difference by telling us what they think and sharing their ideas at"

"The information from this survey is vital to highlight key issues and help us plan opportunities for people to find out more and get involved.”

For more information or photos, please contact Vikki Fenner,, 07825 748697.