How Wildflower Meadows Make Great Homes For Wildlife
Britain’s wildlife is an important part of our heritage and plays a vital role in our survival. Without wild pollinators such as butterflies and bees, our diets, and indeed our economy would be much poorer.
Orange tip butterfly feeding on garlic mustard flower. Wild pollinators like this help us to grow food and flowers – and they don’t ask for a penny in return
Scientists say there has been a 45% decline in numbers of vital invertebrates since the 1970’s. By re-introducing wildflower meadows in gardens, parks, schools and communities we could help to stop the decline in biodiversity.
How Do Wildflower Meadows Help Wildlife?
Even the smallest wildflower meadow will provide homes and food for many of the creatures that enrich our lives. Here are just some of the many ways in which meadows benefit biodiversity
- Provide pollen and nectar to help sustain the insects that pollinate our food crops
- Supply specialist food plants for the caterpillars that will grow into beautiful butterflies and marvellous moths. Both of which are vital for crop pollination. Some types of butterfly and moth only ever lay their eggs on specific native plants
- Create homes and resting places for beneficial insects such as spiders, ladybirds and lacewings. These creatures help control pests in gardens and commercial crops
- Be a source of food and nesting material for birds. Some of our birds like to eat seeds, some like to eat caterpillars and insects. All of these can be found in wildflower meadows
- Make hiding places for frogs and toads. Frogs and toads are a gardener’s best friends. They eat slugs, bugs, flies and other pests. A wildflower meadow makes a lovely damp environment for amphibians to forage in.
- Support small mammals with hiding places, food (seeds and/or small creatures) and nesting material
There a many ways to attract and support wildlife. Hedgeplanting is important but hard work. Creating a wildflower meadow is easy in comparison.
Why Wildlife Matters
Science is continually finding new wonders in the natural world. Previously undiscovered extracts from plants and animals are proving useful in medicine or technology. Bacteria and plants are helping to harness natural ways to produce energy or dispose of our waste.
The world’s ecosystems are complex and detailed. We are now finding that if we take one species out of the equation several others suffer.
By preserving as many plant species as possible in our gardens, schools and public places We are helping to maintain biodiversity for future generations. And it’s not at all difficult!
How You Can Help Restore The Eco-balance
- Find out about the best plants for bees and grow some wherever you can
- Grow butterfly friendly plants
- Learn as much as you can. You may like our information sheet about the wildlife benefits of meadows.