Returning land to wildflower meadows offers additional environmental benefits as well as helping support our wildlife.
Tom Tolputt, from South West Farm Consultants, says that Great Avercombe Farm is uniquely positioned to offset huge amounts of carbon. The combination of 60 inches of rainfall per year (which typically falls in North Devon) and the deep rooted native species of wildflower plants selected, will mean that Wildflower Farmer meadows will offset 8.9 tonnes of carbon.
Dr Trevor Dines told BBC Earth that meadows are, “More than biodiversity hotspots. As well as supporting pollinating insects that are valuable for many food crops, they help mitigate flooding by holding on to rain water and capture vast amounts of carbon.”
Reducing Carbon Impact
It is an established fact that forestry and farming are the cheapest and most effective routes of taking carbon out of the atmosphere by locking it in soil. Miles King, Director of Conservation for the Grassland Trust, says that grasslands lock up a fifth of all soil carbon in the UK. This is much more than woodland cover because carbon absorbed into the soil by grasses become organic matter which is more likely to stay “locked up” rather than being released when a tree dies or is chopped down. Meadows cut every year for hay carry on absorbing carbon dioxide each time there is new growth and create a rich soil full of carbon. By not ploughing the land dead roots full of carbon can build up and create a humus.
The Forestry Commission estimated that British woodland stores on average 1.4 tonnes of carbon per year per hectare whereas Miles King says grasslands store up to 3 tonnes!
If you want to fight climate change join up to become a Wildflower Farmer. Your subscription will help create wildflower meadows and then maintain them. This ecosystem will offset carbon by locking it up.
Reduction in the Use of Pesticide and Fungicides
Wildflower meadows do not require the use of pesticides and fungicides to succeed. Wildflowers are a plant species that are hardy and thrive on poor soil. By supporting this method of farming you will be reducing the amount of chemicals placed on the land and this can only help our environment.