A new Dartmoor initiative, Moor Meadows, has launched recently in the hope of creating a ‘giant nature reserve’ across the Dartmoor area.
Their website invites people to add their flower-rich meadows to a map which will then depict all the managed meadowland across the region, linking people and land in a common aim.
The Moorlander recently ran an article stating that an estimated 97% of meadowland has been lost in the last 80 years, which has led to the decline and near extinction of many species including Ragged Robin and various orchids and fritillaries. In the same way that one oak tree can support up to 350 different species, so a flower-rich meadow can be the life support for many species of insects, mammals, reptiles and birds, not to mention the bees and other pollinating insects that are vital to our survival.
Moor Meadows is a community initiative to restore, conserve and create flower-rich grasslands across Dartmoor. They have a number of experts on the team to give advice on managing and even creating a new meadow, and would encourage anyone with a small patch of land, corner of a garden or even a grass verge outside their house, to get in touch and become part of creating a beautiful habitat for important declining species.
And it may not be as difficult as you might think to get started. David and Jackie Crook from Buckfastleigh said: “Simple advice on getting small areas rotovated and then putting down bales of hay from Beechfield House’s wonderful species-rich meadows in Postbridge on the bare ground proved to be a great way of introducing wild flowers. The increase in the birds and invertebrates is a joy to see and one we take pleasure in every day as we walk the meadows.”
Their website has a resources section containing lots of links to websites, courses, books, online videos of talks recorded at Moor Meadows events, seed suppliers and more. There’s also a section on Meadow Creation and Management, with a Beginners’ Guide and advice and help on how to restore, create and manage a meadow, including in the garden.
Find out more at www.moormeadows.org.uk