Let's go wild for wild flowers

Hartington Meadows, Kaite Helps 

The wild flower meadow is something of a British icon, and a part of our proud rural heritage.

A beloved habitat, wild flower meadows attract numerous species of birds, insects, mammals and plants, providing food, shelter and a valuable component of our food chain. What’s more, wild flowers are effortlessly beautiful, and inspire a certain romanticism that speaks to us on a long, hazy summer’s day. Run your fingers through the long grass and admire the scents that billow out; Derbyshire’s wild flowers are particularly gorgeous, of course!

Common spotted orchid, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Common spotted orchid, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Visiting one of our wild flower meadows

It’s estimated that we’ve lost somewhere in the region of 97-99% of our wild flower meadows since the 1930s. The abundant fields we often imagine are, by and large, a thing of the past. However, there are still wild flower meadows to be found across the county – if you know where to look.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is proud to be able to preserve a handful of these fantastic habitats, which are best visited during May and June before they’re cut for hay. Hartington Meadows in the heart of the Peak District National Park is one such meadow, which bursts with colour and birdsong during the early summer months. Priestcliffe Lees, meanwhile, is a site of specific scientific interest (SSSI); a limestone hillside that sprawls with many native species. Last, but by no means least is Rose End Meadows, a reserve that comprises sixteen smaller fields and meadows. Since each field has varying soil quality and depth the variety of wildflowers on offer is astounding. Awash with colour and rife with wildlife, these fields provide plenty of space for relaxation and wonder.

So, enjoy exploring this summer and remember life’s so much better when we’re all embracing our wild roots!