The cowslips have arrived What an uplifting spring sight. These cowslips are creating a blanket of yellow across Tit Brook Meadow on Lark Rise Farm in Cambridgeshire. This cheerful plant, which flowers in April and May, is an important early source of nectar for bees and other insects, beetles and butterflies such as the brimstone. Formerly a common plant of traditional hay meadows, ancient woodlands and hedgerows, the loss of these habitats has caused a decline in its populations. The meadow on Lark Rise Farm provides an ideal environment for them to thrive. CRT Trustee and Tenant Farmer Tim Scott said: “The key thing with the preservation of wildflowers is allowing them to complete their lifecycle. We mowed the grass just before the cowslips came up, so they aren’t competing with long grass. The meadow will eventually be cut for hay, but not until the cowslips have had the chance to flower and drop their seed to ensure the fields are full of cowslips again next spring.” A cousin of the primrose, cowslips were traditionally picked on May Day to adorn garlands. The cowslip has many folk names, including key of heaven, paigles, bunch of keys and herb Peter. Look out for them on road verges. They are often planted there as they are a wildflower that is relatively easy to sow.