30 Days Wild - Day Twenty-seven - Admire a meadow

Enjoying and protecting these increasingly rare habitats

This month I have been lucky enough to have spent a good amount of time out and about in Northamptonshire's meadows. June is the best month to see these colourful, wildflower rich and increasingly rare habitats.

I've been helping out our reserves team to monitor some of our best grassland sites such as Boddington Meadow (lots of great burnet, betony and orchids) or the very different High Wood and Meadow (sheeps sorrel and heath bedstraw). We've been literally sticking our heads into quadrats to count the wildflowers that indicate the health of these sites as well as discussing how best to we can manage them .It's really important to manage them properly so that wildlife thrives and they continue to perform important duties such as pollination and natural flood management.

Away from reserves I've been surveying Local Wildlife Sites to see what wildlife they support and advising landowners on how best they can conserve it - a big part of the work we do as part of our Living Landscapes. At Cosgrove quarry, after we scrambled through an outer layer of scrub and nettles (whilst explaining to a group of 20 ramblers what we were up to!), we found an undulating grassland full of salad burnet, ladies bedstraw and even a scarlet tiger moth, whilst Sulgrave Disused Railway teemed with knapweed, oxeye daisies and  marbled white butterflies.

My month of meadows will culminate in running a meadows based Wildlife Training Workshop and the launch of our Nenescape Farming for the Future scheme, part of which aims to help landowners to restore and create meadows.

June is a great month to explore these wonderful, but ever-dwindling, habitats. There's still time to enjoy them around all our three counties, though the hot weather will mean the flowers will soon start to fade. Come July the meadows will be hay cut and my ever thickening layer of sun cream and insect repellent will finally get washed off.

Day 27 icon for 30 Days Wild

 

Ways to go wild...

Find a meadow, close your eyes and appreciate the smells and sounds of this dwindling habitat. Find a reserve near you.