Wildflower and grass seeds from Sussex are helping to form a new ‘Coronation Meadow’ in London.
The seeds are from the West Sussex Coronation Meadow at Bedelands nature reserve in Burgess Hill - and last week Prince Charles joined in sowing the seeds in London’s Green Park.
The sowing marked the creation of the 90th Coronation Meadow which is now being named the Queen’s Meadow.
Bedelands is owned by Mid Sussex District Council and is largely managed by volunteers from the wildlife conservation charity Friends of Burgess Hill Green Circle Network, guided by their chairman Dominic Moore.
Dominic was among those specially invited to the ‘royal seed sowing’, together with town and district Councillor Pru Moore, whose Burgess Hill ward includes the reserve. Conservation and woodlands manager at Wakehurst - Iain Parkinson - was closely involved in the project, along with Keith Datchler and Dawn Brickwood of the Weald Meadows Partnership, and Agrifactors who sowed and harvested the bulk of the seed.
TV gardener Rachel de Thame opened the official Green Park proceedings on behalf of national wildflower charity Plantlife with a speech outlining the progress of the entire Coronation Meadow project.
Prince Charles inaugurated the seed sowing with a small group of local children, before chatting to guests.
The event ended with all those invited sowing a token amount of wildflower seeds in an area of prepared ground.
Fortnum and Mason provided picnic snacks in individual cooler bags for everyone to enjoy afterwards.
Dominic Moore said: “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 per cent 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 Britain since the coronation.
In his foreword for the report, Plantlife’s patron, 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 now working to extend this goal by creating new meadows from existing donor sites.