National Highways launches new £8 Meadows Makers biodiversity drive

Working in partnership with the conservation charity Plantlife, the UK’s government-owned road and motorway agency aims to improve habitats, support nature and benefit people.

The Meadow Makers project aims to restore more than 100 hectares of grasslands at seven sites in South West and North East England. Work will be undertaken with a number of third party specialist organisations, including landowners, to replenish and revitalise previous ecological assets.

The UK is facing a biodiversity crisis, in no small part thanks to the loss of wilderness. More than 97% of grasslands have been depleted since the 1930s, having a devastating impact on an abundance of wildlife, from plants and fungi to birds and mammals. It is hoped the new National Highways undertaking will contribute to a goal of reintroducing 100,000 hectares of this habitat-type by 2040. 

‘This partnership represents a long-term commitment to working in partnership over 15 years with National Highways and landowners to nourish the landscape with more species-rich grassland that will help accelerate species recovery,’ said Isobel Hall, Plantlife’s Programme Manager for the Meadows Makers project. 

‘With the state of nature in steep decline the need for grasslands recovery is pressing; staggeringly, over 97% of our meadows have been eradicated since the 1930s and with that has come the decline of many grassland species including Ragged Robin and Harebell,’ she continued. ‘Grasslands deliver a myriad of benefits including carbon storage, flood prevention, water purification and crop pollination so this large-scale drive to restore and create more meadows will help tackle the unfolding and interlinked climate and biodiversity emergencies.’

More on biodiversity:

Local government needs defined duties, devolved powers, lasting finance to restore nature

Inside the Welsh schools using nature-based design

MPs, peers, NGOs issue UK Government open letter on biodiversity


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