Since the 1930s we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows in Britain. Changes in traditional farming practices mean that this important wildlife habitat has become increasingly rare, along with the species of birds, insects and wildflowers that it supports – some have even become extinct.
At the most recent Wildlife Explorer meeting our members learned about the plants that grow in meadows and creatures that make their home there.
To get everyone in the room ‘meadow-ready’ (and to help everyone defrost from the recent cold weather) we all spent a few minutes lying on the floor with our eyes closed listening to the sounds recorded in a meadow in spring. As well as curlew and chattering swallows we heard grasshoppers and even a cuckoo, the harbinger of spring.
All of the children made a seed bomb – a package of seeds, compost and clay to help create a mini meadow at home – either in a pot or on a bare patch of soil in the garden. A mix of grass species and wildflowers will help attract insects and important pollinators. Seed bombs were transported home in recycled pots labelled with incredible creative peg labels created by Explorers.
We always finish with a game! Younger wildlife explorers played a story run around game whilst our older Phoenix group played ‘Meadow Who am I?’ with hilarious results.
Good luck growing your mini meadows everyone! When our native habitats and wildlife are under threat, there are small steps we can all make to take action to help nature.