With Britain losing 97% of all its haymeadows and flower-rich grasslands in the past hundred years, the University of Stirling is doing its bit to redress the damage by recreating a 5 acre wildflower meadow.
The University hopes that this will help to counter the national declines in the numbers of butterflies, bumblebees and birds, by providing them with the flowers they need for nectar and seed.
The picturesque meadow, overlooked by the Wallace Monument, has taken three years to develop as rabbits kept eating the young seedlings, but finally it is in full flower and is teeming with buzzing bees and fluttering butterflies.
Professor Dave Goulson, a specialist in bumblebee conservation, said “It looks amazing, and gives us some idea how our countryside might once have looked. Britain’s bumblebees are in desperate need of our help with projects like this. Two species have gone extinct, and more could follow if we do not provide them with more wildflower-rich habitat.
“It is great that the University is willing to invest time and money in helping our wildlife. Hopefully other universities, councils and so on will follow their lead.”
The University of Stirling is committed to protecting, maintaining and improving the biodiversity of its campus, which sits within an Area of Great Landscape Value and is designated as an Historic Garden Designed Landscape. The 310 acre campus, created on the 18th century Airthrey Estate, is widely recognised as one of the most beautiful in Europe.
Note:The University of Stirling is home to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, a charity founded by Professor Goulson and which now has 8,000 members across the UK.