Meadows swaying with wildflowers are a beautiful and increasingly rare habitat in the UK, with 97% of meadows lost in Britain since World War II due to fragmentation caused by changes in land use and a move away from traditional farming practices.
These remaining grasslands can support so much biodiversity and it’s important to protect and manage them sensitively to ensure they are kept in good condition.
Hay meadows support a rich mixture of grasses and flowers, such as yellow rattle, meadow foxtail, lady's bedstraw and meadow buttercup, with up to 45 species per square metre in the best meadows. They provide abundant pollen and nectar for bumblebees, butterflies and other insects and these invertebrates can be important food for birds. Hay meadows can also provide valuable nesting habitat for birds such as curlews, yellow wagtails and skylarks.