2013-06-05  facebook twitter rss

Coronation Meadows to Mark Diamond Jubilee

A meadow in every county to mark 60 years since The Queen’s Coronation.

At the end of 2012, HRH The Prince of Wales suggested a remarkable nationwide project – a meadow in every county across the UK to mark the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. The first stage of Coronation Meadows will launch at Highgrove House, The Prince’s home in Gloucestershire, on Wednesday 5th June, with the announcement of the first 60 flagship meadows.

Woldflower Meadow

Coronation Meadows are outstanding examples of flower-rich grasslands, surviving fragments that support our wildlife and which are often the result of years of careful management by generations of one family. Many have an annual hay cut and are grazed by hardy, native breeds of livestock. Coronation Meadows reflect the local character of the landscape; Martins’ Meadow in Suffolk has green-winged orchids and meadow saffron, whilst Cae Blaen-dyffryn in Carmarthenshire has whorled caraway and thousands of lesser butterfly-orchids.

Over 80% of the 60 meadows identified can trace an undisturbed history beyond the Coronation; many are truly ancient, dating back hundreds of years. The oldest so far is Loughborough Big Meadow in Leicestershire which can be traced back to 1762. They range in size from Therfield Heath in Hertfordshire at over 400 acres (and home to the largest population of pasque flowers in Britain) to Hayton Meadow in Shropshire at just ¾ of an acre. They are also home to quite astonishing displays of wild flowers – orchids, cowslips, buttercups and oxeye daisies in their thousands. The Prince’s famous wild flower meadow at Highgrove House has a special place in the project and has been named as The Royal Meadow, in addition to the 107 across the country.

Coronation Meadows has three aims:
1. The first, the identification of a Coronation Meadow in each county, will be completed by the end of the Coronation year as Coronation Meadows for the remaining counties are identified – there are candidates for nearly all of them and there will be 107 in total.

2. The second stage is to identify sites within each county where green hay and seed from the Coronation Meadow can be used to restore or recreate new meadows, so fulfilling HRH’s original vision.

3. The final part of the project is perhaps the most ambitious – to map the UK’s remaining meadows. No such inventory currently exists (neither government nor conservation organisation has this information) but, with the help of the public, we hope to identify all the small pockets of flower-rich meadows that remain.

Top 10 rare flowers found on Coronation Meadows

1 Green-winged Orchid
2 Great Burnet
3 Greater Butterfly Orchid
4 Pepper Saxifrage
5 Adder's-tongue Fern
6 Dyer's Greenweed
7 Lady's-mantle
8 Moonwort
9 Fragrant Orchid
10 Frog Orchid

Top 10 common flowers on Coronation Meadows

1 Common Knapweed
2 Yellow Rattle
3 Common Bird's-foot-trefoil
4 Common Spotted-orchid
5 Cowslip
6 Meadow Buttercup
7 Devil's-bit Scabious
8 Meadow Vetchling
9 Oxeye Daisy
10 Red Clover

RBST

   
  Related Links
link New Website Showcases National Park’s Natural World
link Cotswold Farm Park Showcases Farming’s Conservation Commitment
link College Takes On Historic Moorland
link Environmental
   


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