National Meadows Day

National Parks rely on a band of enthusiastic and hard-working volunteers, Northumberland National Park is proud to have a team of volunteers that perform a wide range of tasks from practical works on site to helping to deliver our events programme.  Our walks programme, offering two walks a week during the summer months is co-ordinated and delivered by our volunteers, who I know are missing the regulars who come along.

To celebrate the work of our volunteers and National Meadows Day 2020, John Chrisp, one of our long-standing volunteers who is very knowledgeable on our wildflower meadows provides an overview of one of our popular walks in the North Tyne.

A flower Wood Cranesbill

The 4th July is National Meadows Day, an ideal time to celebrate and visit a diverse range of meadows in the county ranging from traditional Hay Meadows to areas of Whin Grassland, all with their own specialised plants. Greenhaugh is a good place to start, with two quite different meadows either side of the Tarset Burn and both accessible using the public right of way. You can find our self-guided route Greenhaugh & Thorneyburn here.

melancholy thistle

Melancholy Thistle

The Meadow on the village side of the Burn is a wet meadow, not called the “bog” for nothing and is good for Orchids and Greater Burnet. The other meadow near the Farmhouse is a traditional Hay Meadow with Wood Cranesbill, Melancholy Thistle and many of the parasitic plants that control the grasses such as Eyebright, Yellow Rattle and Pignut.

Pignut flowering in a meadow

Pignut flowering in a meadow

Pignut is the host plant of the lovely little Chimney Sweep Moth, another good site to see this moth is the flower meadow at Barrowburn in the upper reaches of the River Coquet. A self guided route around the area can be found on the National Park website.

The Northumberland Wildlife Trust is the lead partner in the “Save our magnificent meadows” project and lists many more specialised sites

If you want to get stuck in and do some surveying you can get involved in all sorts of citizens science programmes including Every Flower Counts and the Great British Wild Flower Hunt.

You can also check out our other self-guided walks which cover all areas in the Park.