March 1 2015 Latest news:
Friday, August 1, 2014
Wildflower meadows full of bees and butterflies were once popular places for families to enjoy picnics.
But with the changing times these wonderful wildlife spots have become less commonplace.
Now people are being urged to help more children experience the wonder of nature, by supporting a campaign to create wildflower meadows to explore and enjoy family days out in.
Wells-based conservation group the Fairyland Trust, which is well known for its annual Fairy Fair, is behind the project and is hoping to raise £20,000 to buy land to make their dream a reality.
According to the trust, 97pc of the wildflower meadows that once covered much of lowland England have been lost to agricultural change and chemicals.
Chris Rose, who founded the Fairyland Trust with his partner Sarah Wise, said: “Once Norfolk was covered in meadows, full of primroses and cowslips and with 60 or 70 plants flowering in them. Now a modern field might just have two or three - grass, dandelions, buttercups.
“What we want to do is create a bit of old England in terms of the places that people can go to for days out, and so children can come across nature in the same way their great grandparents may have done.”
The Fairyland Trust has been running since 2001 and was first inspired by Chris and Sarah’s daughter Amazon wanting to look for fairies in flowery meadows.
Since then the trust has become well known for its fairy and magic-inspired events aimed at inspiring young people about nature, and Chris said one of the trust’s long term aims was always to create places with richer nature for people to enjoy.
“We want to buy a piece of land, re-sow it with wildflowers and manage it to encourage lots of plants and wildlife to live there,” he said, adding that the trust wanted to raise the funds first and then look for a location for the first fairy meadow.
To date they have raised about £6,500 through funds from the trust’s Fairy Fair, donations from staff and volunteers, and from people baking and selling fairy cakes.
Now they are appealing for more people to support their cause and to get involved in baking fairy cakes to support the Fairy Meadow Fund. Vicky Eyles, from the trust, has created a fairy cakes recipe for people to follow and a Fairy Cakes for Fairy Meadows group has been set up on Facebook - www.facebook.com/FLTcakes4meadows
• Donations to the Fairy Meadow Fund can be made via the Charities Aid button on the trust’s website www.fairylandtrust.org or by texting FMFD02£ (insert amount to donate) to 70070.
• Follow @fairylandtrust on Twitter.
Vicky Eyles’ Citrus Fairy Cakes
Makes 12 fairy cakes
For the fairy cakes
100g baking spread
100g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Grated zest from 1 orange
For the icing
220g icing sugar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Yellow or orange food colouring
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C for fan ovens).
Put all the fairy cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat well until the mixture is smooth.
Share mixture evenly between each of the paper fairy cake cases in a 12-hole muffin tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and golden-brown.
Lift the fairy cakes out of the baking tray and cool them on a wire rack.
Whilst cooling, make the icing by sieving the icing sugar into a large bowl.
Mix the lemon and orange juices into the sieved icing sugar with a fork.
Add food colouring one drop at a time, mixing after each, until you are happy with the colour.
Spoon thick icing onto the cool fairy cakes.
Decorate with edible flowers, sugar sprinkles or finely grated orange zest.
People are being encouraged to make fairy cakes to raise money for the Fairy Meadow Fund.
Money raised by selling your fairy cakes to family and friends can be donated to the fund ia the ‘donate’ button on the Fairyland Trust website - www.fairylandtrust.org - or by texting FMFD02 £(your donation) to 70070.