Across our landscape, we are fortunate that small fragments of wild flower-rich meadows and grasslands still survive. Once the colourful mantle of our green and pleasant land, a staggering 97% of meadows have been lost in the last 75 years.

In 2012, Plantlife published Our Vanishing Flora, a report highlighting the loss of wild flowers from individual counties across Great Britain since the Coronation. In his foreword for the report, Plantlife's Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales called for the creation of new wild flower meadows, at least one in every county, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation. 


The Coronation Meadows Project, led by Plantlife and in partnership with The Wildlife Trusts and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, is working to achieve this goal. This exciting initiative is:

i) Celebrating our surviving meadows - identifying a flagship Coronation Meadow  in each county in Britain. These “jewels in the crown” are places where people can enjoy a riot of colour and an abundance of wildlife in settings that have remained largely unchanged since the Coronation.

ii) Creating new meadows at ‘recipient’ sites in the same county, using the Coronation Meadows as source or 'donor' meadows to provide seed. In this way, new Coronation Meadows will be created, increasing the area of this valuable habitat, providing new homes for bees, butterflies and other pollinators and helping to secure our wild flower heritage for the next 60 years and beyond.

iii) Encouraging people to discover meadows local to them; to visit and enjoy them, celebrate their beauty, recognise their importance and to get involved with their conservation. The project will work with a wide range of partners, land owners and managers, conservation organisations and volunteer groups.

Coronation Meadows are outstanding examples of our remaining meadows, rich in a wealth of flowers and able to be held up as the flagship meadow for the county. They will typically be semi-natural grasslands resulting from natural regeneration, managed with low-key and traditional methods and full of local character and identity. The meadows are selected by the project technical group having been assessed and verified against the project criteria. Discover the Coronation Meadow in your county. 

Recipient Meadows are specially selected grassland sites located in the same county as the donor Coronation meadow from which they will receive seed. They are selected by the project technical group and verified against agreed criteria to ensure that they are suitably representative of the habitat type, conditions and geographical area exhibited by the donor meadow in order that they stand the best chance of thriving and are conserved for the future through sympathetic management.

Peoples Meadows are suggested by members of the public as their favourite places to see meadow wild flowers. They encompass a range of sites; many with public access, some historic and others modern. Whilst the submissions are not verified against the criteria of this project they remain valuable places for people to enjoy our wonderful flora. Let us know about a meadow near you...

Header image © C Moncrieff