Monday, 1 July 2013

Coronation for Plas Newydd Meadow

By Richard Neale

As an update to my previous post about counting orchids, I'd like to share with you a small article about it which I found today.

 Meadows by royal command!

 Sarah Mellor, Special Sites Project Officer

In Wales we were lucky enough to have three of our meadows designated as Coronation Meadows to celebrate the 60th anniversary in 2012 of the Queen’s coronation.

The basic premise for the project, led by Plantlife, is for each county in the UK to have a Coronation Meadow (60 were designated across the UK in a first phase but we are expecting more). This ongoing project aims to find a receptor site over the next few years to create a new meadow with green hay/seed taken from each Coronation Meadow.

It is so great to see meadows being used for this kind of project, as it’s so often woodlands that are recognised! Because they are not as visible, meadows can be so easily lost without us even knowing it. The National Trust in Wales is very supportive of this project which really celebrates our meadow heritage.

Plantlife organised a project launch at Highgrove, the Gloucestershire home of Prince Charles, who is Plantlife’s patron.

Nerys Jones, Property Manager for Plas Newydd, Joe Daggett, Head Warden for Mid and South East Wales, and I, along with many other meadow owners and managers from across the UK, were treated to a tour of Highgrove’s gardens, including a walk through the meadow created by the prince himself using green hay from other meadows.

We met the prince in person at the outdoor reception (sunshine, sandwiches, lemonade and Pimms!) where he gave a speech about his passion for the project and took great pains to talk to each of the meadow owners (Nerys ended up talking to him about chickens on wheels – not quite sure how that came about!)

Plas Newydd on Anglesey, a meadow which was formerly used as a sports field and entered haymeadow management 10 years ago. The greater butterfly orchid Platanthera chlorantha has gone from just a few flowering spikes to hundreds during this time. It is one of the best orchid meadows on Anglesey. Recently 60 members of the Botanical Society of the British Isles visited the meadow and found a third orchid species to add to our list.

For more information, visit this website (with a very long name!)

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