The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is reporting a bumper year for wild flowers in rare and endangered Scottish lowland meadows.
The trust works with tenant farmers and ranger teams to ensure newly created and ancient meadows across Scotland are bursting with life and colour. The meadows are an integral part of local history and heritage, providing habitat for native insects and local species, but have been facing decline due to changes in agricultural practices.
Since the 1940s, 95% of UK lowland meadows have disappeared, but by using traditional and wildlife-friendly management methods, the trust is helping to preserve iconic Scottish landscapes and prevent further loss to lowland meadows.
Trust nature conservation adviser, Lindsay Mackinlay, said: “Many people have donated precious funds and time to creating and conserving the meadows on the trust’s land, so it was great this year to take a rain check and photograph them as I went.
“The brilliant news is that many of our meadows had a great year for wild flowers and were buzzing with insect life. These meadows are often oases in areas where wildlife is hanging on by its fingernails.
“We have to thank our meadow conservation volunteers who worked in the middle of winter to control invading gorse, as well as Hebridean sheep, and the staff who manage the meadows. Without their work and the work of farming partners, not to mention those who have donated to such projects, we wouldn’t have these meadows now.”