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National Wildflower Day 2019

by timhuggan on 6 July, 2019

It’s national wildflower meadow day! We’ve been looking at some wildflower meadows that used to be extremely common before intensification of agriculture. Wildflower meadows are now rare, but we can bring them back, along with the insects and other wildlife that are associated with them.

Wildflower meadows need a little bit more love than lawns, but if you’re looking for a wildlife friendly habitat, lawns just aren’t very good compared to what’s here in this living landscape. Wildflower meadows support a huge diversity of species such as cornflower, birds foot trefoil, sorrel, and ox eye daisy.

This diversity in flowering species can support a variety of insects and pollinators, which in turn increases food available for voles, hedgehogs and other small mammals.

Seeing wildflowers in our city helps us to connect with nature, and it’s good for our mental health, too.

Wildlife meadows are indicators of low fertility soil, not ground that is treated with chemical fertilisers or intensively grazed. If this meadow was sprayed with herbicide, the diversity of the wildflower species would diminish, and we’d probably end up with a species poor grassland that had a much lower nature value.

Insect species that are important to us and our planet are in decline in the UK. Butterflies have declined 50% between 1990 and 2011 in Europe. Between 1980-2013 a third of pollinator species have reduced their range in the UK, with bees and hoverflies seeing a decline of 25%.

To reverse these trends, Sheffield Liberal Democrats want to see wildflower meadows planted across Sheffield, in the urban centre, in the suburbs. Alongside a huge tree planting and peatland restoration scheme, we can fight climate change and secure the future for pollinators and other beneficial insects into our city. 

By bringing back wildflower meadows, we can do our bit to address the biodiversity crisis facing our planet.

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