Sunday, 20 May 2012

Wildflowers on Radio

Lady's Mantle or Cuckoo Flower in a wildflower meadow near Bicester

Last week I went to St Birinus church in Dorchester-on-Thames to see a group of parishioners, led by Linda Francis, plant a Mary Garden. This is a garden full of wildflowers that have a religious significance, particularly to do with Mary. Forget-me-nots are called Mary's Eye's, Lily of the Valley are known as Mary's Tears - see an earlier post and the Tablet article for more details.

Sunday on Radio 4 broadcast this interview this morning, along with an interview with Giles Strother from the Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust at a meadow near Bicester. This was a glorious wildflower meadow, one of a few on a farm they are hoping to buy next year. Its a great pity the producer cut out the main part of the interview with Giles who explained really well why wildflower meadows are so important to the UK - as a store of carbon (as much if not more than a woodland), as a source of pollen for a whole variety of insects, as a water storage to hold excess water etc.  And we have lost 98% of them since World War 2 due to high intensity farming and grazing.  All that was cut out so the piece that was broadcast was weak and didn't really make any sense! However - here are the photos of the wildflowers and St Birinus and we keep on...

Lilly of the Valley - or Mary's Tears - in St Birinus' Garden and parishioners planting the garden below

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