Wildflower Meadows focuses on untouched, ancient and historic meadows and is stunningly illustrated with historic as well as recent photographs of ancient meadows The book features a wide variety of meadows and their flowers, from grasslands, and heathlands to chalklands and wetlands. From the same publisher that brought the highly acclaimed and award winning Where Have all the Flowers Gone? by Charles Flower Hay meadows with their wonderful profusion of wildflowers and butterflies are disappearing from the UK countryside at an alarming rate. This book celebrates in words and photographs the meadows that remain tucked away in odd corners in every part of the UK. Taking the most common type of meadow, Margaret Pilkington shows how, with the help of the National Vegetation Classifcation we can understand the unique collection of plants present and explains the Biodiversity Action Plan for wildflower meadows that it was hoped would ensure further loss of this special, vulnerable habitat. She gives a clear, concise account of the challenges posed and the practical steps being taken to halt its decline, including the use of ecosystem services to highlight its value. Meadow flowers are adapted to survive and reproduce in grassland that has been managed in a particluar way for centuries. The voices of those who farmed in this way describe traditional hay making and the changes that have led to the loss of these meadows, a loss that has led to a huge decrease in the butterflies and other wildlife that depended on them for food and shelter. Margaret Pilkington explains the intimate connections between flowers and the insects that visit them, an explanation brought to life in John Pilkington's close-up photographs. Wildflower Meadows is a beautiful record of the meadows that survive and a practical guide to their preservation in the future to be enjoyed by all who appreciate and care for our countryside.
Margaret Pilkington has a Ph.D. from the University of Reading and taught part-time at Otago University and the Open University before becoming a full-time lecturer in continuing education at the University of Sussex. Her interest in meadows grew out of using the local countryside as a laboratory for teaching science and gained particular impetus with the publication of the National Vegetation Classification system in the 1990s. Her previous book, Science in the Countryside, was published in 2005. John Pilkington has a Ph.D. in Zoology from London University, and was a lecturer in the Department of Zoology at Otago University for many years. Writing this book with Margaret was an ideal outlet for the latent urge to capture the beauty of the natural world; the sympathetic reader may discern the progress he has made during the three years working on the images reproduced here.
Date of Publication
Natural History: Plants
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Country of Publication
colour illustrations, black & white halftones, colour illustrations, frontispiece