The new Coronation Meadow at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve, restored in 2014 using seed from Cumbria's ancient Coronation Meadow at Piper Hole, has been buzzing with activity this summer. There have been guided walks, mini beast hunts, bio-blitzes, wildflower id courses, a creative writing day, and the very important annual survey.
Above: survey of Eycott Meadow in July
The results have been encouraging with lots of yellow rattle and eyebright, which are great species to see in a meadow as they feed off the more vigorously growing grasses and help more delicate flowers to thrive.
Above: yellow rattle
It’s been amazing to see so many people enjoying the meadow and commenting on how fantastic it looks and it can only get better as the restoration goes on.
The flowers and meadow wildlife are also the inspiration for an exciting arts project. Cumbria Wildlife Trust are working with arts charity Prism Arts on a programme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim is to welcome a wide range of people to the nature reserve and to encourage them to respond to it in a fun and creative way.
Above: event at Eyecott Hill meadows
A group of older people from Amy’s Care in Carlisle and adults with learning disabilities from the Edington Centre and Eden Mencap in Penrith have been visiting Eycott Hill Nature Reserve to enjoy the meadows, look at wildflowers, and watch wildlife including bees and butterflies. These visits are followed up with indoor workshops to produce textile art for an exhibition later in the year.
Above and top: Indoor art session with Edington Centre and Eden Mencap
Above: Amy's Care visit, looking at the meadow flowers
The meadows are due to be cut soon and then the next stage of restoration will begin – plug planting! We have 3,000 wildflower plugs to plant so volunteers are welcome to visit and lend a hand on:
Do join in if you can!
The restoration work at Eycott Meadows is funded by Biffa Award Landfill Communities Fund as part of their generous support for Coronation Meadow restoration in England and Wales, and also by the Wren community action fund.