I’m kicking off the year on the podcast with an interview with conservationist and wild meadows expert Keith Datchler. We talk about the state of our wildflower meadows, their importance for biodiversity and where we, as humans, fit as part of the biodiversity that feels at home in meadows.
Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Winter Bumblebees
What we talk about:
The definition of a meadow
How many ancient meadows are left in the UK. When they date from. How they were created.
Do we need to protect them from a wildlife and a human perspective?
How meadows are region and ecosystem specific
Why we should consider the locale when choosing plant species to add to or to create a meadow
Can meadows work on a small scale? How long do they take to establish? What are the major hurdles to implementing one?
Whether it’s desirable to encourage people to visit meadows and interact with them in terms of footfall and conservation
What’s being done to preserve ancient meadows and create new ones
About Keith Datchler OBE
Keith Datchler started his career as a dairy farmer, before moving into estate management, with his latest position being Estate Manager at the Beech Estate in Ashburnham, East Sussex. He is a Trustee of the Weald Landscape Trust and of People Need Nature and he works as a conservationist and wild meadows consultant.