Standing looking out over the wildflower meadow at Sun Rising, when someone says to me, “I’ve not seen a sight like that since I was a lad” or ” … a girl”, I know we’re doing something right.
As the cowslips reach their best – and there are more of them every year – it’s an expression I often hear, and it warms my heart as much as it does the person who says it. They are usually somewhere over 70, and what they recall is an England before the war, before every scrap of land was ploughed for food and sprayed with chemicals. We have lost so much of our native wildflower meadow, blinkered attitudes prioritising food production over the health of land and its inhabitants. Conserving what is left of our ancient meadows is one important task, but creating new meadows of wildflowers is as crucial.
I’m looking forward to seeing our much larger new area of meadow in a few years’ time. It’s still bare seeded soil now, but in the seed mix there are cowslips, and when they establish they will be even more brilliant than these.