Professor Chris Baines, one of the UK’s leading independent environmentalists and the person who kick-started the modern wildlife gardening movement yesterday launched Stroud Valleys Project latest campaign at the town’s Bisley Road Cemetery. The charity, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary is searching for 25 wildflower meadow sites to make, monitor or maintain.
Wildflowers and plants are being lost from our environment at an accelerating rate and in Gloucestershire an estimated one plant species is becoming extinct every two years. Last year national charity Plantlife released results of their study showing that 10 plant species have become extinct during the 60 years of Queen Elizabeth ll reign.
“Wildflowers and plants are essential to our lives in a way that our society is just beginning to fully realise,“ said Chris Baines whose 1980s BBC TV series ‘Blue Tits and Bumblebees’ and books ‘A guide to Habitat Creation’ and ‘How to make a Wildlife Garden’ inspired millions to change the way they garden.
“The good news is that we can reverse this loss and we can all do something to help right now,” explained Chris. “Meadows are natural habitats that can be made on any suitable bit of land – even in a back garden. When created and managed properly meadows are home to a vast number of plants which in turn support all kinds of wildlife including bees and birds. This is why Stroud Valleys Project wildflower festival is important to in making everyone realise what they can do and identifying 25 wildflower meadow sites to make, monitor or maintain would be a great start to spearheading the revival of wildflowers around the district.”
“Over 97 percent of meadows in the UK have been lost since recording began in the 17th century,” said SVP chief executive Clare Mahdiyone. “And now less than 15,000 acres of lowland meadow remain – roughly the size of Bristol – so this is why SVP is launching a wildflower and meadow campaign to mark our 25th anniversary.”