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Wildflower Meadow

Our meadow is a typical lowland hay meadow, or ancient grassland. It is not a meadow of annual plants, such as poppies and cornflowers, neither of which live in grass meadows.  It has a neutral pH and is classified as MG5 according to the National Vegetation Classification.

This was once the ubiquitous type of old meadow in the English lowlands, but due to drainage, ploughing, re-seeding and fertiliser use there is now less than 6,000 hectares remaining in England.

Also known as Cynorurus cristatus – Centaurea nigra grassland, it is typically  species  rich, with mostly widespread, unsown native plants.

Cynorurus cristatus is the Crested Dog’s-tail grass and Centaurea nigra is Lesser Knapweed. Both are present in the meadow.

Because all the relevant native grasses and flowers are present it means that the food plants of many moths, butterflies and other insects are available.

Knapweed alone is attractive to seven varieties of butterfly as well as bees and hoverflies.  In the summer the meadow is full of insects including Chimney Sweepers, tiny black day-flying moths which live in the meadows.

We have added some bulbs to give interest in the early spring and Autumn crocus flowers after the meadow is cut at the end of August.

After cutting, the hay is left for a few days to make sure all the seed is dispersed and then the hay is removed to lower the fertility of the meadow.  Too fertile and the grass will be too thick for the native flowers.

If you would like to learn more about meadows and how you can create one, you may be interested in our "Starting a Wildflower Meadow" workshop on June 10th.

Meadow Workshop

Wildflowers in our meadow

Betony                                    Betonica officinalis
Black Knapweed                    Centaurea nigra
Bluebell                                  Endymion non-scriptus
Broadleaved Dock                  Rumex obtusifolius
Bugle                                      Ajuga reptans
Cleavers                                 Galium aparine
Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil     Lotus corniculatus
Common Daisy                      Bellis perennis
Common Mallow                    Malva sylvestris
Common Mouse-ear              Cerastium holosteoides
Common Ragwort                  Senecio jacobaea
Common Solomon’s-seal       Polygonatum multiflorum           
Common Sorrel                      Rumex acetosa
Common Spotted Orchid       Dactylorhiza fuchsii
Common Toadflax                  Linaria vulgaris
Common Vetch                      Vicia sativa
Cowslip                                  Primula veris
Creeping Buttercup                Ranunculus repens
Creeping Thistle                    Cirsium arvense
Cut-leaved Crane’s-bill          Geranium dissectum
Dwarf elder                            Sambucus edulus
Early Purple Orchid                Orchis mascula
False Oxlip                              Primula veris x vulgaris
Field Scabious                        Knautia arvensis
Garlic Mustard                        Alliaria petiolata
Giant Bellflower                      Campanula latifolia
Giant Hogweed                      Heracleum mantegazzianum
Great Willowherb                   Epilobium hirsutum
Greater Burnet-saxifrage       Pimpinella major
Greater Knapweed                Centaurea scabiosa
Greater Stitchwort                 Stellaria holostea
Hedge Bindweed                   Calysegia sepium
Hedge Parsley                       Anthriscus sylvestris
Hedge Woundwort                Stachys sylvatica
Hedgerow Crane’s-bill          Geranium pyrenaicum
Hogweed                               Heracleum sphondylium
Lady’s –smock                      Cardamine pratensis
Lady’s-mantle                       Alchemilla mollis
Lesser Stitchwort                  Stellaria graminea
Lesser Trefoil                       Trifoium dubium

 

Marsh Orchid                         Dactylorhiza sp.
Meadow Buttercup                Ranunculus acris
Meadow Crane’s-bill             Geranium pratense
Meadow Saxifrage                Saxifraga granulata
Meadow Vetchling                 Lathyrus pratensis
Meadowsweet                       Filipendula ulmaria
Musk Mallow                         Malva moschata
Nettle                                    Urtica dioica
Nipplewort                             Lapsana communis
Ox-eye Daisy                         Chrysanthemum leucanthemum
Pignut                                    Conopodium majus
Oxlip                                      Primula elatior
Primose                                 Primula vulgaris
Ragged- Robin                      Lychnis flos-cuculi
Red Campion                        Silene dioica
Red Clover                            Trifolium pratense
Ribwort plantain                     Plantago lanceolata
Self-heal                                Prunella vulgaris
Slender Bedstraw                  Galium pumilum
Spear Thistle                         Cirsium vulgare
Teasel                                    Dipsacus fullonum
White Clover                          Trifolium repens
White Dead-nettle                  Lamium album
Wood avens                           Geum urbanum
Wood Crane’s-bill                  Geranium sylvaticum
Yarrow                                   Achillea millefolium
Yellow Rattle                         Rhinanthus minor

Grasses and Ferns

Annual Meadow Grass           Poa annua
Cocksfoot                               Dactylis glomerata
Common adders tongue        Ophioglossum vulgatum
Common Bent                        Agrostis capillaris
Crested Dogstail                    Cynosurus cristatus
False Oat Grass                     Arrhenatherum elatius
Meadow Foxtail                      Alopecurus pratensis
Perennial Ryegrass                Lolium perenne
Red Fescue                            Festuca rubra
Rough Meadow Grass           Poa trivialis
Sweet Vernal Grass               Anthoxanthum odoratum
Timothy                                  Phleum pratense
Tufted Hairgrass                    Deschampsia cespitosa
Yorkshire Fog                        Holcus lanatus

spotted orchid
Spotted Orchid

Plants added to the meadow:

Camassia, many varieties
Colchicum, many varieties
Crocus, autumn flowering
Geranium asphodaloides
Geranium psilostemon
Geranium x oxonianum
Narcissus pseudonarcissus
Marcissus, many varieties

Bee feeding on autumn crocus
Autumn Crocus
lady's smock
Lady's Smock