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Flower of that Ilk

Charles Flower, who I visited today with Dr. Pippa Rayner (the BBCT's inexhaustible Conservation Officer), is an unusual mix of absolute charm and studied determination. He was an early evangelist for wildflower meadows and has been working with enormous enthusiasm on promoting them for over 30 years. His Wiltshire farm is a joy; immaculate and beautifully concieved. He is very much a farmer and very much habitat rather than species driven, so his views are consequently well rounded and informed by the real world; one of his current concerns is the lack of underplanting in woodland schemes, for which there is no provision in Stewardship schemes. I commend you to his lovely book, Where Have All The Flowers Gone?, which explains a difficult subject clearly and in typically practical terms. As he points out, this is the problem with meadow creation; meadows are hugely alluring to folk, but they are put off by the mass of apparently conflicting advice about their establishment and management. There is no "one size fits all" answer to individual sites and circumstances. That's the whole point.