Posted: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 by 30DaysWild2015

Eades MeadowEades Meadow

A walk in a Worcestershire meadow.

My Inspiration.

Orchids in the meadowOne of my very early memories is being taken by my grandfather from his house in West London (and mine in suburban Surrey) to visit his sister in rural Essex. My great aunt had a bungalow with a huge well-tended garden and I remember a gate into rougher ground where they had a large chicken shack.  My grandfather walked me through a further gate and sat me down in the middle of a field where the fine grasses grew over my head, the sun shone, colourful flowers peeped through the grass stems, birds sang and there was a cacophony of crickets and buzzing flies and bees.  The field was alive with movement of invertebrates.  I can remember looking up into a blue sky and asking where we were:  "This is the countryside, son".  I've been to plenty of wild and dramatic places since then but that has stuck with me; a traditional hay meadow is the countryside.

Bee in the meadowI don't think I really experienced another meadow until I came to Worcestershire and joined the Wildlife Trust.  I attended every open day at Eades Meadow for years.

Britain has lost 95% of it's flower rich meadows since 1945 and 20% of what remains is in Worcestershire, we have an international obligation to protect what remains.  The Trust is actually going further by re-creating meadows wherever appropriate.

Today I walked through Eades Meadow again.  The conservation team have mowed a strip along a footpath and it is possible to walk through the meadow.  You can see all that you need to from this path; there is absolutely no need to deviate from it, however much you want to see that particular butterfly or bee; they will come to you eventually, and the orchids and other wildflowers grow right up to the path edge.  To go 'off piste' would be as selfish as to run through someone's herbaceous border with wellingtons!

SkipperThe sights and sounds today, in the meadow, made me think of that day 50 years ago.  The only thing missing is the sound of the crickets: too many years and too much loud music since then I guess!

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