We're starting a new collaboration with Dr Grace Twiston-Davies, Dr Ros Shaw, and Prof Juliet Osborne - Meadow Match is essentially a 'dating agency' for wildflower meadows, match-making 'donor' and 'receptor' sites of local wildflower seed and hay.
Wildflower meadows can harbour more plant species than tropical rainforests and capture and store carbon, but we've lost 97% of our wildflower meadows in living memory. The aim of the Meadow Match project is to find lost 'biodiversity gems' - sites of species-rich wildflower meadows on private land across Cornwall, Devon and the Isles of Scilly. Since 2019, the team have located over 130 hectares of wildflower 'donor' sites and nearly 80 hectares of 'receptor' sites, match-making these to create 58 hectares of new meadows.
The work behind this has so far been done manually, but they are ready to scale up with a proper online system, to make it easier to work with their partners so they can add sites, incorporate automated processes like site matching, and monitor the progress of the new habitats being created. As a first step we'll be helping them hone their ideas into a full plan with wireframes (simple sketched outlines of how an online system would work), so they can seek funding to make this happen.
Meadow Match was piloted through the SWEEP and Halpin Trust funded projects and is run through a new Community Interest Company, the Wildflower Collective. This next step is funded by the University of Exeter's Open Innovation Platform Translational Fund.