CareMoor

CareMoor's Sowing the Seeds Appeal -
Creating more Wildflower Meadows on Exmoor

Olive sowing wildflower seeds in the Brendon Hills

The importance of meadows

Meadows attract a multitude of wildlife and often support flora and fauna that cannot thrive in other habitats. Typically characterised by species such as black knapweed, ox-eye daisy, yellow rattle, hawkbits, vetches and rarer orchids, they can also support colourful waxcap fungi with names such as parrot, snowy and crimson. In addition to being aesthetically beautiful, they are ecologically important as they provide areas for pollinating insects, nesting, food gathering, shelter and even animal courtship displays.   Flower-rich meadows can also be historically important, part of our local rich heritage and their enjoyment can contribute to our own wellbeing.

Like other ecosystems, meadows experience increased pressure due to climate change, especially as precipitation and weather conditions change. However, grasslands and meadows also have an important climate change mitigation potential as carbon sinks; deep-rooted grasses store a substantial amount of carbon in soil.

The loss of wildflower meadows, botanically richer than any other habitat, has been staggering; 97% have been lost since the 1930s. 75% of remaining meadows occur in small fragments and remain vulnerable to destruction.  Over the last 30 years we have seen the drastic decline of meadows and species rich grassland on Exmoor which has also affected the populations of important species, such as pollinators, that are dependent on them. It is estimated that Exmoor has only 2500ha of flower-rich meadow remaining…….we want to change that.

How can donations to CareMoor help?

Your donations to our CareMoor Sowing the Seed Appeal will help us to restore, create and link species-rich grassland on Exmoor. Donations have already helped us buy a seed harvester which will enable us to work with more landowners who would like to restore their meadows.

We are working with several landowners this summer to harvest seeds from donor farms. These seeds will be supplied to local communities, farmers and landowners to help us create new meadows and improve and restore existing grasslands.

Donations are required to support the purchase of further equipment and to provide essential training.

In order to continue this important work, here's how your donations will help:

  • Create and manage 10m2 wildflower meadow - £10
  • Create and manage 100m2 wildflower meadow - £100
  • Purchase a quad- mounted seed spreader - £500
  • Purchase a trailer to transport our new seed harvester and harvesting equipment - £4,000
  • Conduct vegetation surveys to assess species diversity at meadow sites - £600
  • Provide training for 6 contractors/landowners to use the brush harvester - £3,000

Donate to this Appeal

If you’d like to make a donation to support this exciting and worthwhile project, then you can DONATE ONLINE HERE. Select the Sowing the Seeds project from the drop down menu.

If you’d like to discuss your donation with us, please email caremoor@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

More about our project partners and achievements last year

The Exmoor Sowing the Seeds project is a major collaboration between Exmoor National Park Authority, FWAGSW, Devon Wildlife Trust, South West Water and others.

In 2021, we were delighted to be able to carry out essential vegetation surveys, harvest 30kgs of seed and provide seed to 5 landowners to restore over 11 acres of meadow.  We also funded the harvesting of 4 acres of green hay, which was used to restore nearly 4 acres of meadow on a neighbouring farm. We purchased a seed harvester that is now available for us to use and loan to landowners around Exmoor to help them create new meadows.

The aim is to “seed” community level activity to restore these grasslands, whether on-farm, road verge, village green, churchyard, or school, loaning equipment and providing a resource platform to help with targeting and linking people with seed-rich hay, with others requiring seed-rich hay

Would you like to help, learn more or become a donor site?

We would love to hear from anyone interested in meadow creation, at any scale, and also from people with existing flower-rich meadows who might be interested in becoming a donor site. Please contact us at naturerecovery@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk.