This area was until relatively recently full of unimproved meadows and pastures, acid grassland in heaths and chalk downland on the North Downs. Kent has lost most of its wildlife-rich grassland but still supports 20% of south-east England’s chalk grassland, although most of this is now in decline. The meadows have suffered huge declines in recent decades due to pressures from agriculture and development combined with a loss of the skills, knowledge and understanding of how to manage them appropriately.
Medway Valley Countryside Partnership are the lead Save Our Magnificent Meadows partner in the Medway Valley and the project sites are:
Since 2014 when the project began we have given advice to 68 landowners who own over 185 hectares of grassland, run 33 training sessions, held 52 family events and open days attended by over 1630 people and begun to manage 65 hectares of public land to increase species diversity. We have spoken to 990 primary school children and 60 secondary schools about meadows and created two school mini meadows.
223 volunteers have been involved with the project so far and we have a group of 7 regular Meadow Champion volunteers whose roles range from carrying out species surveys to driving the project tractor and lots, lots more in-between. There is still lots to achieve and more to learn plus a full programme of training and family activities to deliver throughout the summer of 2017, so if you would like to get involved or come along to an event please contact Mary Tate On 03000 414833 firstname.lastname@example.org
In Medway Valley, Magnificent Meadows is delivered with support from Cllr Pauline Stockell of Maidstone Rural West and the Peter Adams Trust.