In 2012, Plantlife published Our Vanishing Flora, a report highlighting the loss of wild flowers from individual counties across Great Britain since the Coronation. In his foreword for the report, their Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales called for the creation of new wild flower meadows, at least one in every county, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation.
Weald Meadows Partnership (WMP) & the High Weald Landscape Trust (HWLT) were there at the outset – to support the 2013 launch of the Coronation Meadows Project, practically supporting how this super vison would be put in place, with the overarching and formal project partners.
Three counties were supported with data and background supplied by the WMP; to include East & West Sussex and Surreys Donor meadows – or three of the 60 Coronation Meadows.
From this WMP sought to enable, or to physically wild harvest and provide a supply of green seed from these donor meadows to all three counties and more. The results from our work alone included two donor sites / or new meadows in East Sussex, two in West Sussex (one at Wakehurst – which features many areas also in receipt of Weald Native Origin Seed – see https://www.kew.org/wakehurst/whats-at-wakehurst/coronation-meadow, one in Surrey and one famously at Green Park in London! In September 2016 HRH The Prince of Wales helped to seed this area, the 90th Coronation Meadow in central London in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday, it is christened The Queen’s Meadow!
All sites re-visited by me in 2019 show an average increase in the number of species from pre enhancement work of from 5 to well over 30 species on some sites!
A result and the hope is that additional funding may arise to support the continuation of the Coronation Meadows Project which has resulted in over 400 ha of new meadow creation in a little over four years.
A great achievement but over the years, WMP (96 -2019) located in a small corner of the South East England has created and enhanced well over 1300 ha of new meadows – using 5.7 tonnes sustainably wild harvested Weald Native Origin Seed !
2019/20 results have yet to be filed but what a result so far – watch this space…….
WMP Harvesting and A Wealden Meadow