Wildflower workshop held at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow

Published:
01:26 PM June 21, 2022



A Norfolk wildflower meadow created to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee is now helping to inspire more nature projects in her Platinum Jubilee year.

In 2012, Prince Charles launched a nationwide program to use seeds from wildflower flagship sites to create new meadows in every county on the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

The idea was to preserve the outstanding surviving fragments of flower-rich meadows – of which around 97pc had been lost in the previous century.

Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham, near Wymondham, was created from seed-rich ‘green hay’ harvested from Wood Lane Roadside Nature Reserve, near Long Stratton.


Wildlife experts discussed creating and managing flower-rich meadows at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham
– Credit: Sonya Duncan

And 10 years after the initiative was launched, experts are using the Norfolk site to teach landowners and community groups about the ecology, creation and management of wildflower meadows.

Project partners Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) and the Norfolk Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (Norfolk FWAG) held a hands-on workshop at Fir Grove as part of the Northwest Territories Claylands Wilder Connections project.

Helen Baczkowska, Acting Conservation Manager of the Northwest Territories, said, “The idea behind Coronation Meadows was to create new grasslands using seeds from old grasslands.


Wildlife experts discussed the creation and management of flower meadows at Coronation Meadow in Norfolk

Wildlife experts discussed creating and managing flower-rich meadows at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham
– Credit: Sonya Duncan

“It was an absolutely brilliant initiative, and Fir Grove is now so successful that we hope other people can pick it up and learn how to do it.

“We started with a field that was a mixture of grasses and didn’t have a lot of flowers – and that’s typical of a lot of grassland in Norfolk.

“We brought the seed into the green hay from the roadside nature reserve, and now when you look around you see flowers like the white daisy, the yellow rattle, and the nationally rare sulfur clover. .”


Wildlife experts discussed the creation and management of flower meadows at Coronation Meadow in Norfolk

Wildlife experts discussed creating and managing flower-rich meadows at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham
– Credit: Sonya Duncan

Since the start of the project, the partners have used similar techniques to create new grasslands at other sites and to enlarge the size of the original grassland at Fir Grove.

Ben Newton, Northwest Territories Habitat Connectivity Manager, said, “We cut the green hay in August, prepare the soil and spread it over the grassland area we want to improve.

“This has been happening over the past ten years and there has been a steady increase in the amount of flowers, diversity of species and associated fauna and invertebrates.”


Wildlife experts discussed the creation and management of flower meadows at Coronation Meadow in Norfolk

Wildlife experts discussed creating and managing flower-rich meadows at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham
– Credit: Sonya Duncan


Wildlife experts discussed the creation and management of flower meadows at Coronation Meadow in Norfolk

Wildlife experts discussed creating and managing flower-rich meadows at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham
– Credit: Sonya Duncan


Wildlife experts discussed the creation and management of flower meadows at Coronation Meadow in Norfolk

Wildlife experts discussed creating and managing flower-rich meadows at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham
– Credit: Sonya Duncan


Wildlife experts discussed the creation and management of flower meadows at Coronation Meadow in Norfolk

Wildlife experts discussed creating and managing flower-rich meadows at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham
– Credit: Sonya Duncan


Henry Walker of Norfolk Farm Wildlife Advisory Group at Norfolk's Coronation Meadow

Norfolk FWAG’s Henry Walker discussing the management of flowering meadows at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham.
– Credit: Sonya Duncan


Wildlife experts discussed the creation and management of flower meadows at Coronation Meadow in Norfolk

Wildlife experts discussed creating and managing flower-rich meadows at Norfolk’s Coronation Meadow at Fir Grove Farm in Wreningham
– Credit: Sonya Duncan

Chris B. Hall