Floodplain Meadows: Beauty and Utility

a new nature blog

FMP cover

“In Shakespeare’s play Henry the Fifth, there is a scene, after the battle of Agincourt, where the captured Duke of Burgundy is lamenting the cost of war. He does this by conjuring up before our eyes a picture of what happens to a meadow when men have gone off to battle and the fields lie neglected with no-one to mow them:

The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth

The freckled cowslip, burnet and green clover,

Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,

Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems

But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burs,

losing both beauty and utility.”

This begins the preface written by Professor John Rodwell, to a new handbook called “Floodplain Meadows – Beauty and Utility”. 

It seems appropriate, just after the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, to quote the Bard describing a meadow scene with which he would have been familiar.  It was a scene…

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