Today is National Meadows Day and today I wanted to tell you all about some magnificent meadows here in Co. Fermanagh. We are really lucky here in Fermanagh as we are a huge stronghold of lowland meadows; not only in N.Ireland and also in the UK. High intensity farming in some communities is being encouraged to diversify. They are helped to do this by Ulster Wildlife and Save Our Magnificent Meadows. I love the idea of this project as it is helping farmers and landowners realise the value of their land, when it used for biodiversity. The sowing and harvest of yellow hay rattle is really very productive for farmers and can enable them to use their land to help wildlife, encourage habitats and still reap (financial – hay rattle is really expensive) rewards from it. I’m only a kid but this seems to be a brilliant idea and can only mean good things for everyone involved, including birds, mammals and insects!

There are five main meadow sites in Fermanagh : Garrison Meadows, Ballintempo, Killykeeghan, Monea Castle, Lough Navar and the knoll at Marble Arch. I haven’t visited all of these sites, but would really love to. We have seen Lough Navar and Marble Arch and have also enjoyed the many grass verges around the county. These verges really cheer me up and as I mentioned in my ‘Bedazzled by Bees’ post, cause great excitement in the car when we drive past! We have seen lots of interesting species and the beauty of it is just so lovely to see. The fact that people are starting to get behind this idea and use the land for not only financial gain but also making homes for nature, is really positive. These meadows and verges create wildlife corridors and encourage a wide range of animal activity! My dad tells me that a pine marten lives in one of the bins near one of the meadow sites, not to mention other mammals and birds.

Below are just a few photos I managed to take of our walks and visits to some Magnificent Meadows. As you can see, it’s much better than lots of boring grass!

Happy National Meadows Day everyone!!

Dara