With National Meadows Day just around the corner, the Eastern Moors Partnership are hosting 'Meadows, Wings and Pretty Things', a special event in celebration of ancient wildflower meadows and the wildlife that calls them home.
Taking place on Sunday 3 July, the partnership, which is a joint initiative between the RSPB and the National Trust, invite visitors to take part in a range of activities dedicated to meadows. From 10 am-1 pm, adults and teens can find out more about meadow plants during a discovery walk in Curbar meadows. Using keys and field techniques, participants will get hints and tips on how to identify wildflowers. Booking is essential and costs £12 per person.
In the afternoon, from 1-3.30 pm, families are welcomed into the meadows to make wildflower crowns, create willow sculptures, paint meadow masterpieces and have their face painted. It costs £3 per person and there's no need to book, just meet at Curbar Gap car park. Attendees on the morning discovery walk can gain free access to the afternoon's family event.
Katherine Clarke, Visitor Experience Manager, Eastern Moors Partnership said: "The meadows of the Eastern Moors can sometimes be overlooked when overshadowed by the dramatic moorland landscape and impressive gritstone edges. However, these meadows are beautiful examples of areas rich in wildlife. Meadows are an iconic part of our British countryside and our 'Meadows, Wings & Pretty Things' event is an opportunity to remind people how special they are, highlight a need to protect their future and spend a day celebrating their beauty."
A healthy meadow can be home to over 150 different types of wild plants and flowers, compared to much modern grassland which supports under 10. In turn, these wildflowers support other important meadow wildlife including butterflies, beetles and birds.
Sadly just3% of the meadows that existed in the 1930's now remain in the UK, a loss of 7.5 million acres. Plantlife's Dr Trevor Dines said: "If 97% of our woodland was destroyed there'd be a national outcry. But meadows have disappeared from our lives gradually and quietly. Without the roar of chainsaws or the sound of mighty oaks crashing to the ground, a meadow can be ploughed up, unnoticed, in an afternoon."
For more information about 'Meadows, Wings & Pretty Things' and to book a place on the adult discovery walk visit the What's On pages at www.visit-eastern-moors.org.uk, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively call 0114 2891543.
National Meadows Day is just one part of Save Our Magnificent Meadows, a UK-wide partnership project, supported thanks to National Lottery players. It's the UK's largest partnership project transforming the fortunes of our vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife, led by Plantlife and primarily funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The Magnificent Meadows partnership would love to hear your experiences of National Meadows Day on social media. What is your favourite local meadow or meadow flower? Use #meadowsday and share your love of your local meadows on twitter or facebook (search Magnificent Meadows). For more information about the events taking place on National Meadows Day, visit www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk.