Virtual National Meadows Day
Today Plantlife held a Virtual National Meadows Day! In previous years we have hosted farm walks in honour of National Meadows Day. Covid-19 put a stop to any such activities this year. So it was a great idea of Plantlife to do something else to celebrate these vital habitats.
We did #30DaysWild again this year and blogged about it on the farm blog. A daily walk looking at and trying to identify plants that we didn’t know. What a treat, especially during lockdown, and knowing that so many people were not able to access wild spaces. The plant above is Greater birds foot Trefoil. Below is Self heal.
Different fields, different wild flowers
Our appreciation of the wildlife and biodiversity around us has deepened during lockdown. And it has been a wonderful antidote to the stress, to be able to walking in the evenings through the different fields. Each meadow or field has a different character. shaped by the history of its land use.
Today I walked through the field below the farmhouse. It has been cut regularly for hay or silage. Being relatively flat it is accessible with farm machinery. It has an abundance of common wild flowers and since we stopped using artificial fertiliser and changed the grazing patterns, it has a greater percentage of flowers – hundreds of Common spotted orchids, Common twayblades, Greater butterfly and Northern marsh orchids. The common flowers include Self heal, above, Ox eye daisy, Red clover, and Eyebright.
Common spotted orchids
The Common spotted orchids (above) are beginning to look tired now, and huge clumps of Knapweed are rising above the grasses, dark green foliage about to flower. Looking across the field as a whole, it looks almost pink. All the different grasses are going to seed! The scent of Red and White clover is overpowering.
The skies are dark now, and the Virtual National Meadows Day is over. Hopefully next year the meadows at Treshnish will be as colourful and prolific as they have been this year. We will look forward to sharing them with our guests again!