Creating Coronation Meadows

We offer a full meadow creation service with expert advice and guidance. This includes site assessment, botanical surveys, planning restorations and management recommendations. For more information, please contact michael.krause@plantlife.org.uk .

If you have a smallholding, farm or estate, we have found the following steps are useful in planning the creation of larger wildflower meadows:

1. Choose a site with low soil fertility. Test your soil first and if it’s high in phosphorous and nitrogen, and if it has a heavy burden of docks, thistles and nettles, consider another site.
2. Use natural seeding techniques such as green hay and brush harvested seed collected from your local Coronation Meadow to conserve the character and identity of our wildflower meadows.
3. In spring, source your seed from local meadows – discuss with your local Wildlife Trust, Plantlife, the National Trust or other meadow owners the availability of green hay or brush harvested seed in late summer and agree prices and approximate harvest dates.
4. In July and August take a cut of hay from your field, remove the bales and graze with sheep or cattle to get the grass as short as possible.
5. A few weeks later, prepare the ground by using a Ryetech, power harrow or tine harrow to open up as much bare ground as possible – aim for over 50% bare earth.
6. The next day, collect the green hay or brush harvested seed and scatter on the prepared ground. Use rollers to push the seed into the soil or bring in livestock to trample the ground.
7. Ideally, graze the re-growth of grass until the end of winter so seedlings have room to become established.
8. Leave the meadow alone from March until the late summer hay-cut (mid July-September), allowing flowers to set their seeds.
9. The number and diversity of wildflowers will increase over time. All you need to do is follow an annual cycle of late summer hay-cut followed by aftermath grazing with livestock until late winter.

For more information and advice on meadow creation, please also see the advice and guidance section of the Saving our Magnificent Meadows website.

If you have a garden or small plot of land, you can follow our tips on meadow creation in gardens here