Coronation Meadows

A Weald Wildflower Meadow ‘Coach Road’ in Battle has become one of the first Coronation Meadows in the Country.

Coach_Road_MeadowStage one of Coronation Meadows was hosted and launch by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in early June at Highgrove House. The event was attended by Beech Estates manager and High Weald Landscape Trust, trustee Keith Datchler OBE. Keith is also a member of the Coronation Meadows Steering Committee. The 60 Coronation Meadows are now confirmed, Coach Road meadow in Battle, East Sussex will be one of the 60 flagship meadows! Jewels in the Coronation Meadows crown.

CM_copyright_Robin_Bell__the_Coronation_Meadows_ProjectPictured left to right: Victoria Chester – CEO of Plantlife, His Royal Highness, Maureen & Micheal Chowens – Project Supporters and Keith

Coronation Meadows are outstanding examples of flower-rich grasslands. These surviving fragments support our wildlife and are often the result of years of careful management by generations of one family. Many meadows have an annual hay cut and are grazed by hardy, native breeds of livestock. They also reflect the local character of the landscape

Here in Battle, Coach Road meadow shows its Wealden past and exhibits special plants such as; Common-spotted Orchids, Yellow Rattle, Dyers Greenweed, Quaking Grass and Oxeye Daisy. The Weald Meadows Partnership (WMP) will support Coronation Meadows by carrying out surveys on the Beech Estate. Wholecrop-seed will be harvested from Coach Roads then carefully applied to a new location 7 acres in nearby Triangle field (TQ735164) in July 2013.  This will also be one of the first Coronation Meadow enhancements – but not for the Beech Estate or WMP!

Part of the Coronation Meadows Initiative aims to create a National inventory of our meadows. WMP will aim to support other landowners across the Weald (Kent, Sussex and Surrey) over the coming months and years to identify and register their meadows. As a long running partnership we work with a range of organisation and landowners to advise, record and facilitate the practical application of seed harvesting and the sowing of local Weald grass and wildflower seed. Partners include Kent Wildlife Trusts: Marden (Coronation) Meadow, Landowners, RBG Kew, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Sussex University, Natural England the Environment Agency, Beech Estate and more.

The Coronation Meadows Initiative is lead by Plantlife, partnered by, The Wildlife Trusts and Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The combination of these organisations together with local partners will support and promote Britain’s fragile wildflower meadows giving them the recognition they deserve. Meadows are not just havens for plants they provide a home or food source for a full range of insects including bees, butterflies, birds and other animals.

Background

In 2012, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales suggested a remarkable nationwide project that will see 60 surviving ancient meadows identified, each in a different county to mark 60 years since The Queen’s Coronation. From these 60 new ones will be created.

“The sixtieth anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation; what better excuse for a concerted effort to begin the creation of at least one meadow in each county?”
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

The official press release can be viewed on the Coronation Meadow website.

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