Thanks to the arrival of summer, wildflowers are blooming across the country.
Pollinator havens, where a plethora of flora combines to create a technicolour mosaic across the otherwise green landscape.
I am of course, talking about wildflower meadows.
Unfortunately, 97% of flower rich meadows have been lost in England and Wales over the last 80 years. Meadows require careful management and intermittent grazing which unfortunately is often too slow and unproductive for todays modern intensive farming practices.
Wildflower meadows are a wildlife hotspot, often home to some 40 different species of flower! This doesn’t include the insects and fungi which also depend on this vital habitat.
Meadows are not only a treat for wildlife, they are also the perfect place to unwind and admire the beauty and magnificence of mother nature. When visiting a meadow, the air is filled with the sound of bees gently hopping from one flower to the next, butterflies dancing through the sky and birds singing overhead. You will breathe in the familiar scent of summer as the pollen tickles your nose as it is lifted into the air with the wind.
When visiting a meadow, you don’t have to look far to see clouds of butterflies. Blues, browns and reds flutter above your head as you embrace the beauty before you.
Our meadows offer the perfect opportunity to do some butterfly counting as part of the Big Butterfly Count.
Here are our must visit meadows this summer:
Walk amongst the orchids at Cae Eglwys. Staff and volunteers have been working tirelessly since 2006 to control the bracken, which has revealed a kaleidoscope of colour. Common Spotted Orchid, Broad-leaved Helleborine and Eyebright among others, brush your ankles as you walk through this spectacular meadow. Expect to see Common Blues, Ringlets, Small Coppers as well as many more dancing above the meadow during summer months.
Please note, there is no parking at the reserve. Park at nearby village Sarnau and walk from there.
Situated on the edge of the magnificent Prior’s Wood, there is a wildlife paradise home to Whorled Caraway, Ragged Robin and Devil’s-bit Scabious to name but a few. This precious habitat is one of the last remaining old hay meadows on Gower and has been managed as a meadow for at least 100 years. The meadow is sympathetically managed with thanks to the Saving Priors Meadow project which began in October 2018. Staff and volunteers work hard to maintain and manage the land to improve and protect the wildlife that call it home.
Despite the name, the Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve is home to various habitats and wildlife. One of which is a beautiful wildflower meadow which provides a vital pollen pit stop for the resident pollinators. A rainbow of flowers carpets the floor as the air is filled with the gentle buzz of bees.
The feast to your senses continues as you wander through the Welsh Wildlife Centre, the smells of homemade food filling the air. There is something for everyone at the Teifi Marshes; wildlife, an adventure playground, a willow maze and a giant willow badger.
For a day of family fun, visit the Welsh Wildlife Centre and Teifi Marshes.
Situated in the Merthyr Valley, Pwll Waun Cynon was once a neglected, overgrown and scrubby reserve. Thanks to the hard work of staff and volunteers plus a helping hand from resident grazing cattle and ponies, this wonderful reserve can finally live up to its potential!
Despite being completely flooded in 2018 by Storm Callum, the meadow is now awash with wild flowers. It is the perfect location for a spot of Butterfly counting! The reserve is home to many water birds, uncommon plants and the occasional Mink!
To experience a wildflower meadow in all its glory, visit during summer months.
What are you waiting for?
More information about our reserves can be found here