Creating a new wildflower meadow at Sharpham

5th October, 2023
by Katie | 3 Min Read
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Creating a new wildflower meadow at The Sharpham Trust

97% of our wildflower meadows have disappeared from the UK, but we're restoring this habitat that's vital to insects and birds.

We're restoring nature to the site of the former Sharpham Wine vineyard.

Here, Trust Director Julian Carnell describes how we're making a new home for wildlife at Sharpham

See our previous video before the meadow was ploughed

Aerial view of the newly-planted wildflower meadow
Ern Stock

A haven for pollinators, birds, mammals & reptiles

A new, organic meadow that will be a habitat for native plants, insects, birds and animals has been planted on the Sharpham Estate.

The wildflower meadow has been created in front of the historic Sharpham House, on land previously occupied by a vineyard.

The vineyard had come to the end of its useful life and Sharpham Wine has recently moved over the River Dart to Sandridge Barton, freeing up the land.

Said Sharpham Trust director Julian Carnell: "That gave us an opportunity to think, 'Well, what are we going to do with the land as we move forward?'. We've recently been working on a rewilding of the estate, and we wanted to do something that was in tune with that approach, around making more space for wildlife."

In this country we've lost a huge amount of lowland, wildflower meadows - vital food sources for pollinators, he said. "A common figure that's quoted is a reduction of 97% since the Second World War. So it's an important habitat that has been disappearing. We wanted to take action, to try and recreate this for nature."

Returning the land to how it used to look

The new meadow fits with Sharpham House's history too and will be a return to how the land used to look in previous centuries.

The Trust has paintings from the 18th century showing the headland in front of the house as meadows. Added Julian: "We also have a photograph from 1898 which shows this area at the front of the house as open pasture, as open wildflower meadow, so we're going to recreate how it was back prior to the Second World War".

The work to make the meadow has been funded by the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as part of their programme Farming in Protected Landscapes.

A mix of native wildflower seeds has been planted and taken root, and the land will be cut for hay and lightly grazed throughout each year, helping to manage the meadow for wildlife and biodiversity.


Witness our progress

See all our meadow videos in one place here: 

The pasture in front of Sharpham House in 1898 - COPYRIGHT FRANCIS FRITH COLLECTION