Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) was honoured to welcome The Prince of Wales, who is patron of the Wildlife Trusts, to its Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve on 8 May to visit the Coronation Meadow, Lady’s Mead, and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the nature reserve.
DWT was honoured to welcome The Prince of Wales to the Coronation Meadow, Lady’s Mead on 8 May to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the acquisition of Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve.
Lady’s Mead was selected as a Coronation Meadow to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation in 2013, in a project led by The Prince of Wales to address the reported loss of 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows since WW2. Seeds from Lady’s Mead have been used to create and restore meadows across West Dorset, to help secure the UK’s wildflower heritage for the next 60 years.
The Prince of Wales last visited in 1988, one year after the purchase of the 327 acre reserve, when he generously donated funding from the Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund to repair fencing and gates. The Kingcombe Centre, which was established shortly after the purchase of the nature reserve, runs a variety of educational and recreational courses and events, with accommodation and tearooms for visitors from near and far to enjoy.
Dr Simon Cripps, DWT chief executive said, “We were delighted to show The Prince of Wales the improvements and changes we’ve made since his last visit to the nature reserve, nearly 30 years ago.
“We are proud to run a traditional farm, grazed by cows and sheep, without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilisers to encourage good quality grassland, supporting a diverse abundance of wildflowers. The nature reserve and centre are both core parts of the local community and contribute greatly to helping DWT achieve its aims to spread the conservation message, and help people learn about how engaging with wildlife can improve their lives.”
DWT West Dorset conservation officer, Nick Gray said, “Lady’s Mead holds a marvellous array of wild flowers, which support a host of insect pollinators like butterflies and bumble bees. Its botanical diversity makes Lady’s Mead a perfect ‘donor’ meadow. Wildflower seed has been transferred to other local sites in freshly cut ‘green hay’, and as brush-harvested and hand-harvested seed, some of which is used to grow ‘Coronation Meadow provenance’ wild flower plug plants. Walking through the meadow with The Prince of Wales today, the sward and the sky above were full of wildlife, and it was a real privilege to show off our beautiful reserve.”
At various times of the year wildflower species found at Lady’s Mead include common knapweed, corky-fruited water dropwort, and rarities including saw-wort and pepper saxifrage. Marbled white butterflies, froghoppers and meadow grasshoppers can be seen in the meadow, as well as the iconic wildflower yellow rattle.
Tags: Dorset Wildlife Trust