In earlier times, when households needed to be self-sufficient, hay meadows played a vital role. They were where the hay that fed the cattle through the winter months was produced. As the meadows were not fertilised in those days, eventually there was a fabulous wealth of flowers, benefiting hundreds of animal species such as beetles, butterflies and small birds. Today, most of the hay meadows have vanished thanks to forest planting, cultivation and encroachment. We are recreating the meadows on 20 sites in the Ecopark, an arduous (but fun!) task involving annual mowing and seeding of meadow plants.