Make meadows while the sun shines!

 In Farming & land management, Get involved, Nature & wildlife

With these first warm days of spring, birds singing and flowers starting to bloom in the hedgerows, summer doesn’t seem too far off. Whilst sights of summer hay meadows in full flower are largely a thing of that past, as we have lost 97% of our species-rich grassland in Britain over the last 100 years, there are still landowners working to maintain those special meadows that are abundant in flowers, insects, and other life. There are also lots more folk who are starting that journey to bring back wildlife rich meadows, whether it’s in a small garden, roadside verge, churchyard or larger fields, the meadow-makers’ movement in Devon is growing rapidly.

A meadow full of ox-eye daisies.

Ox-eye daisies at Brook Manor, Buckfastleigh. Photo: Chris Chapman

This concern for disappearing wildlife and an enthusiasm to make a change, led to a small group of Dartmoor residents coming together to conserve, restore and create wildflower-rich grassland on land they owned within the national park. Formation of the community group, Moor Meadows, followed, which rapidly grew to over 800 members. The appetite was huge and now there are over 1,000 acres of meadows in good management across Dartmoor.

Thanks to a grant from the Devon Environment Foundation in 2020, Moor Meadows was able to expand this network of keen meadow-makers across Devon under the banner of More Meadows. The first step was to create an online resource for budding meadow-makers, the Meadow-Makers’ forum, with space for local More Meadows groups to share news, knowledge, organise events, or simply chat with other like-minded people.

More Meadows groups are now springing up across Devon as people are concerned about disappearing wildlife and want to make a difference. Blackdown Hills AONB is no exception, with many people already managing beautiful meadows and others on the road to creating and restoring meadows alive with bumblebees, butterflies, and other wildlife.

We want to spread the word that all it takes is enthusiasm, a patch of land and time. There are many spaces, large and small where gardens, species-poor fields and paddocks can be transformed into wildflower meadows. With help and support from others through the Meadow-Makers’ forum this becomes possible and enjoyable.

More Meadows talks

Early purple orchid

Early purple orchid

To engage with even more people across the region, particularly through the period of Covid lockdown, we broadcast a series of talks to help and inspire folks. These are now available to view on our Moor Meadows YouTube channel. The latest talk by Matt Pitts, Meadow Advisor from Plantlife, on how to create and restore meadows, will be on our YouTube channel very soon.

Our next free talk on 14 April – Life on the Edge – will be all about how to get involved managing roadside verges for wildlife.

Book your place at Life on the Edge

With the lifting of Covid restrictions on the horizon, we cautiously hope for some in-person events to return in the summer, such as the ever-popular, scything workshops and open meadow days.

Find out more…

Visit the More Meadows website

Join the More Meadows – Meadow Makers forum

Explore the More Meadows map which shows the meadows managed by Moor Meadows members.

Read stories of individual meadow-makers


More Meadows Forum logo


Verge with mixed wildflower

Verge with mixed wildflower

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