A college tutor in Cornwall has welcomed celebrity wildlife presenter Chris Packham’s passionate plea to help stop a catastrophic decline in UK wildlife.
Nick Taylor, tutor for countryside and conservation at Duchy College Rosewarne, said wildlife and the countryside are hot topics and more than ever it is important to educate and inspire all generations, especially the younger generation, about countryside management and what they can do to help.
“Our countryside was once full of blooms with wildflower meadows, which supported an abundance of wildlife now unfortunately as a country we have lost nearly 98% of these,” he explained.
“Farming techniques have changed and now with the focus on silage, leaving wildflowers to flower before cutting it for hay has become a rarity.”
Nick and his Level 3 land and wildlife management students in April invested hard work, sweat and patience during their studies to transform a patch of unused land into a wildflower, hay meadow at the campus.
“We want to show people the benefits of having spaces like this for wildlife and just how beautiful they can look,” he continued.
“We as a society have a fixed mind-set that aesthetically a beautiful lawn is short and weed free, which unfortunately is a detriment to nature.”
The wildflower meadow is beginning to flourish and includes six species of grass, 20 perennial wildflower and six species of annual arable wildflower. The meadow will be cut at the end of the summer, a couple of cuts through winter and then will be left to flower next summer.
In a few months the hay from the meadow will be cut by the students, hand pressed into bales and used to feed the animals within the animal care department, making it a great plough to plate project.