Secrets of hidden gem meadow

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A HIDDEN gem has been uncovered at a Scarborough nature reserve.

Nature experts have discovered an Old Meadow at the Eastfield Dell.

The find has caused a stir among enthusiasts as over the last 60 years 97 per cent of the UK’s Old Meadows have been lost as a result of countryside being used for development.

Following the discovery of the natural meadow the Dell has become a priority conservation habitat.

The meadow was uncovered after two plant surveys in the area.

Under the guidance of Middlesbrough charity Wildflower Ark, Dell nature rangers and local enthusiasts carried out two investigations of the park’s grasses and wildflowers.

The results proved to be an unexpected surprise for all involved.

What they found was the grass on the east side of the Dell had more than 43 different wildflowers and grasses.

Of the 43 species found a total of 28 of them were present in a two-metre square. Dell nature ranger David Spencer said: “It was a real surprise to find such a diverse meadow on the site.

“We are really pleased to have found it, and are now working closely with Scarborough Council regarding the management of the site.”

The Old Meadow was allowed to grow naturally despite being surrounded by houses. When Eastfield was built 61 years ago, the Dell was left undeveloped because the site is situated in a valley, making it difficult to build on.

As a result, the site’s diverse species escaped being lost to development and have survived to this day.

Experts say the abundance of species found in the Dell is very beneficial for insects, birds and small mammals.