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Joining forces to make meadows

Survey and ID training

More than 400 hectares of species-rich grassland has been restored thanks to a hugely successful initiative which has engaged more than 12,000 people in vital work to protect valuable meadows across England.

The Meadow Makers project has seen Plantlife work with an array of partners to create, restore and manage grasslands, provide training and advice and start conversations to raise awareness of these important habitats and their role in mitigating climate change.

The initiative has recorded some notable successes, with:

400 hectares
of species-rich grassland restored and new post-restoration management regimes introduced.
given on the management of more than 100 hectares of land, with Plantlife receiving 302 enquiries and the wider partnership 46.
people taking part in face-to-face and online training, webinars, workshops, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing sessions and national meadows day events.
Six Meadow Maker trainees
recruited and upskilled. Four of these have now been employed within the environmental sector, one took up another traineeship outside of the environmental sector, while the final trainee has begun post-graduate study.

The project has led to some new opportunities for collaboration and enabled us through the traineeship to trial a new activity called ‘Girls on the Fells’. These sessions provide young women with the opportunity to actively participate in nature conservation, encouraging them to develop their personal interests or potentially pursue nature conservation through their academic or career choices.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

The Meadow Makers legacy

The legacy left by Meadow Makers promises to make a positive difference for our grasslands for years to come. The project has seen a range of resources, videos and practical advice brought together through Plantlife’s Meadows Hub, while trainees, land managers and project staff have been upskilled in all aspects of meadow restoration and management. Two plug plant and seed nurseries have also been set up to help boost species populations in the future.

However, one of the most significant benefits which the Meadow Makers project has brought is the strong relationships which it has helped to develop between partners, landowners and local communities. This has been particularly noticeable when smallholders or community groups who lack their own equipment or animals for aftermath grazing have joined forces with others who may be able to help, in turn ensuring effective long-term management.

Many of the partners have also expressed an interest in collaborating on future stand-alone projects, research initiatives and traineeships.

Installing the water and electric - Westdown
Cumbria Wildlife Trust plant nursery

Meadow Makers is funded by Defra’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund and delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency. It has also received funding from Meadows Honey, as well as partners and landowners involved in the project.

England’s Meadow Makers partnership is made up of:

  • Plantlife
  • Duchy of Cornwall
  • Cumbria Wildlife Trust
  • Moor Meadows
  • High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership
  • Herefordshire Meadows
  • Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust
  • Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Image credits: Header image - Deborah Long, image 3 - Paul Smith, image 4 - Ian Thomson

Next project

Working together to bring our most threatened species ‘Back from the Brink’

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