HRH The Prince of Wales visits Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve to celebrate its 30th anniversary
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has been honoured to welcome The Prince of Wales to its Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve today, to visit the Coronation Meadow, Lady’s Mead, and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the nature reserve. The Prince of Wales is Patron of the Wildlife Trusts.
Lady’s Mead was selected as a Coronation Meadow to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation in 2013, in a project led by The Prince of Wales to address the reported loss of 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows since WW2. Seeds from Lady’s Mead have been used to create and restore meadows across West Dorset, to help secure the UK’s wildflower heritage for the next 60 years.
DWT is also celebrating the 30th anniversary of the acquisition of Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve. The Prince of Wales last visited in 1988, one year after the purchase of the 327 acre reserve, when he generously donated funding from the Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund to repair fencing and gates. The Kingcombe Centre, which was established shortly after the purchase of the nature reserve, runs a variety of educational and recreational courses and events, with accommodation and tearooms for visitors from near and far to enjoy.
Delighted to show the Prince of Wales the improvements & changes
DWT Chief Executive, Dr Simon Cripps said, “Today we were delighted to show The Prince of Wales the improvements and changes we’ve made since his last visit to the nature reserve, nearly 30 years ago. We are proud to run a traditional farm, grazed by cows and sheep, without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilisers to encourage good quality grassland, supporting a diverse abundance of wildflowers. The nature reserve and centre are both core parts of the local community and contribute greatly to helping DWT achieve its aims to spread the conservation message, and help people learn about how engaging with wildlife can improve their lives.”
DWT West Dorset Conservation Officer, Nick Gray said, “Lady’s Mead holds a marvellous array of wild flowers, which support a host of insect pollinators like butterflies and bumble bees. Its botanical diversity makes Lady’s Mead a perfect ‘donor’ meadow. Wildflower seed has been transferred to other local sites in freshly cut ‘green hay’, and as brush-harvested and hand-harvested seed, some of which is used to grow ‘Coronation Meadow provenance’ wild flower plug plants. Walking through the meadow with The Prince of Wales today, the sward and the sky above were full of wildlife, and it was a real privilege to show off our beautiful reserve.”
Lady's Mead has rare wildflowers and a host of butterflies
At various times of the year wildflower species found at Lady’s Mead include common knapweed, corky-fruited water dropwort, and rarities including saw-wort and pepper saxifrage. Marbled white butterflies, froghoppers and meadow grasshoppers can be seen in the meadow, as well as the iconic wildflower yellow rattle.
For more information about the Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve and the Kingcombe Centre, including the society of wildlife artists art exhibition running on the May bank holiday, visit www.kingcombe.org.
More photos from the day
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 26,500 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.