words by Alex White
This week saw the first National Meadows Day. Lots of events to celebrate our wildflower meadows went on around the country, but I decided to visit the one local to me.
Over 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930’s.
That is 7.5 million acres of lost meadows.
A wildflower meadow can support 150 different species of flowers and grasses which in turn support insects, small mammals and birds.
An hour spend in the meadow showed a variety of flowers including Common knapweed, bird’s foot trefoil, selfheal, Oxeye daisy, red clover, Field scabious and a single Bee Orchid.
So many butterflies I was unable to count them all but species included Large White, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Meadow browns, Painted lady and Skippers.
Unseen small mammals could be heard scurrying through the tangle of undergrowth, presumably Bank voles or maybe a shrew. Flocks of Goldfinches and Long tailed tits nosily made their way around the outskirts, while a couple of Roe deer strolled across the bottom end pretending to ignore me.
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© Alex White / Appleton Wildlife Diary 2019