Help us create an English meadow at Wakehurst Place
Meadows - a vanishing landscape. Old hay meadows provide a rich haven for biodiversity, and were once a common feature of our landscape. Help Kew turn Bloomers Valley at Wakehurst Place into a new English meadow.
23 Sep 2009
Ancient meadows are important ecosystems, containing up to 100 different plant species
A Message from Wakehurst
Can I ask you to send a donation today, so Kew can create this beautiful habitat, full of native wildflowers and a haven for our wildlife?
Conservation and Woodlands Manager, Wakehurst Place
Old hay meadows provide a rich haven for biodiversity, and were once a common feature of our landscape. I can remember as a child scrambling over an old hedgerow at the bottom of our garden and running through a flower-rich meadow – full of wonderful, treasured plants with ancient and peculiar names such as Bird’s-foot-trefoil, Dyer’s greenweed, common knapweed, crested dog’s-tail, ragged robin and autumn hawkbit.
It saddens me to think that within our lifetime so many of these rich and varied grasslands disappeared. Meadowland wildflowers provide a great source of food for birds and a home for a huge variety of insects.
Here in the High Weald of Sussex, less than one per cent of species-rich grassland survives, and nationally 97 per cent of meadows present in the 1940s have disappeared. Where plant species have declined, so too has the variety of bird and butterfly species.
At Wakehurst Place, we want to turn Bloomers Valley into a meadow, establishing an abundance of wildflowers to increase the diversity of birds, butterflies and bees.
Please send a donation today. Your gift to our Plants Horticulture and Garden Fund will help support this project. We will purchase good quality seed that we will sow in the autumn, the first step in helping to restore delicate wildflowers to a meadow. Amongst the key species will be Leontodon autumnalis, commonly called autumn hawkbit, a dandelion-like yellow composite flower, tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions. With a long flowering season this plant provides nectar for a wide range of insects, especially late in the season.
With your support, we can hire in the traditional equipment required to manage the habitat and make sure we are providing the best possible conditions for the wildflowers and grasses to establish.
In the years to come, I hope you can come and visit us to wander through Bloomers Valley, seeing a traditional English meadow filled with plants, birds and insects – our historic landscape.
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