Hello, my name is Vicky Squire and I am the new Project Officer for Save Our Magnificent Meadows here in Ceredigion.
Save Our Magnificent Meadows is a 3 year nationwide project being organised by Plantlife and funded by Heritage Lottery, to help preserve our hay meadows and species rich grasslands. The UK has lost 98% of its species-rich grasslands in the last 60 years due to changes in farming practices. These habitats are an intrinsic part of the UK’s natural and cultural heritage. It is one of the few habitats that has been created by man that is great for biodiversity and brimming with life – centuries of farming practices working with nature rather than against it.
There are nine sites involved in the project and at each site we are planning to carry out a range of work including fencing, to allow grazing over winter, scrub clearance and plant surveys. Working with tenants, we are hoping to improve the management of our species-rich grasslands, create new wildflower meadows and engage with the local community through a series of events and workshops. We aim to enhance, create and link species-rich grasslands and reconnect people with these places and their wildlife, history and heritage.
This year’s events started with a training day on Meadow Invertebrates and surveying techniques. A mixture of professionals and members of the public attended and it was hailed as a great success, mainly due to Gwen’s enthusiasm rather than sunny weather!!! We found a wide range of bugs, bees and creepy-crawlies from red-tailed bumblebee, shield bugs, soldier bugs, meadow grasshopper and meadow brown butterflies!
We have our Magnificent Meadows Weekend on the 19th & 20th July. The Meadow Arts Day will be on the 19th July and will see art exhibitions and an outdoor theatre here at Llanerchaeron as well as workshops in ceramics, photography, printmaking, lantern making and poetry & song writing!!! We will also be unveiling the winners of our Meadow Art Competition. All of the entries will also be on display throughout the summer.
Then on 20th July will be our Family Meadows Day, with lots of family friendly activities happening throughout the day including minibeast hunts, flower pressing, making meadow animals and bug hotels and hunting for the rainbow in the meadow!!
We will also be holding an event in September for anyone who would like to learn more about volunteering with us. Keep an eye on our website closer to the time.