An ox known as a bullock in Australia and India, is a bovine trained as a draft animal or riding animal. Oxen are castrated adult male cattle. Cows or bulls may be used in some areas. Oxen are used for plowing, for transport, for threshing grain by trampling, for powering machines that grind grain or supply irrigation among other purposes. Oxen may be used to skid logs in forests in low-impact, select-cut logging. Draft oxen are yoked in pairs. Light work such as carting household items on good roads may only require one pair, while for heavier work, further pairs would be added as necessary. A team used for a heavy load over difficult ground might exceed ten pairs. Oxen are thought to have first been harnessed and put to work around 4000 BC. Working oxen are taught to respond to the signals of the ox-driver; these signals are given by verbal command and body language, reinforced by a goad, whip or a long pole. In pre-industrial times, most teamsters were known for their loud voices and forthright language.
Verbal commands for working animals vary throughout the world. In North America, the most common commands are: Back: back up Gee: turn to the right Get up: go Haw: turn to the left Whoa: stopIn the New England tradition, young castrated cattle selected for draft are known as working steers and are painstakingly trained from a young age, their teamster makes or buys as many as a dozen yokes of different sizes for each animal as it grows. The steers are considered trained at the age of four and only become known as oxen. A tradition in south eastern England was to use oxen as dual-purpose animals: for beef. A plowing team of eight oxen consisted of four pairs aged a year apart; each year, a pair of steers of about three years of age would be bought for the team and trained with the older animals. The pair would be kept for about four years sold at about seven years old to be fattened for beef – thus covering much of the cost of buying that year's new pair. Use of oxen for plowing survived in some areas of England until the early twentieth century.
Pairs of oxen were always hitched the same way round, they were given paired names. In southern England it was traditional to call the near-side ox of a pair by a single-syllable name and the off-side one by a longer one. Ox trainers favor larger animals for their ability to pull heavier loads, they are therefore of larger breeds, are males because they are larger. Females can be trained as oxen, but they are smaller. Bulls are used in many parts of the world as oxen Asia and Africa. Working oxen have oxshoes, which are metal devices nailed into their hooves, used to protect them from excessive wear; the continual strain borne on their feet by the weight they carry may injure and lead to cracking of the hooves, just as with horses. Despite this, in England, not all working oxen were shod. Since their hooves are cloven, two separate parts are required for each hoof, unlike the single shoe of a horse. Oxshoes are of a flat shape with an outline similar to a half-moon or a banana, either have or do not have caulkins, are fitted in symmetrical pairs to the hooves.
Unlike horses, oxen are not able to balance on three legs while a farrier shoes the fourth. In England, shoeing was accomplished by laying the ox on the ground and lashing all four feet to a heavy wooden tripod until the shoeing was complete. A similar technique was used in Serbia and, in a simpler form, in India, where it is still practiced. In Italy, where oxen may be large, shoeing is accomplished using a massive framework of beams in which the animal can be or lifted from the ground by slings passed under the body; such devices may today be of metal. Similar devices are found in France, Germany, Spain and the United States, where they may be called ox slings, ox presses or shoeing stalls; the system was sometimes adopted in England where the device was called a crush or trevis. The shoeing of an ox lifted in a sling is the subject of John Singer Sargent's painting Shoeing the Ox, while A Smith Shoeing an Ox by Karel Dujardin shows an ox being shod standing, tied to a post by the horns and balanced by supporting the raised hoof.
While less efficient and sensibly less prevalent than horses, the riding of cattle as a means of transportation has happened throughout history, the act is sometimes known as ox riding and oxback riding. There are many forms of riding equipment used by oxen, some differ from those used by horses. A wide-girthed saddle is mounted on the ox’s back for the rider to sit on. A bridle may attach to reins. While horses may have a bit, the near-equivalent for cattle is the nose ring, although this procedure is painful to the ox; as mentioned, they are not only controlled by being steered using reins.
An angel is a supernatural being found in various religions and mythologies. In Abrahamic religions, angels are depicted as benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between God or Heaven and humanity. Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, carrying out God's tasks. Within Abrahamic religions, angels are organized into hierarchies, although such rankings may vary between sects in each religion; such angels are given specific titles, such as Gabriel or Michael. The term "angel" has been expanded to various notions of spirits or figures found in other religious traditions; the theological study of angels is known as "angelology." Angels who were expelled from Heaven are referred to as fallen angels. In fine art, angels are depicted as having the shape of human beings of extraordinary beauty but no gender, they are identified with symbols of bird wings and light. The word angel arrives in modern English from the Old French angele. Both of these derive from Late Latin angelus, which in turn was borrowed from Late Greek ἄγγελος aggelos transliterated by non-Greek speakers in its phonetic form ángelos.
Additionally, per Dutch linguist R. S. P. Beekes, ángelos itself may be "an Oriental loan, like ἄγγαρος." The word's earliest form is Mycenaean a-ke-ro, attested in Linear B syllabic script. The rendering of "ángelos" is the Septuagint's default translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mal’ākh, denoting "messenger" without connoting its nature. In the associations to follow in the Latin Vulgate, this meaning becomes bifurcated: when mal’ākh or ángelos is supposed to denote a human messenger, words like nuntius or legatus are applied. If the word refers to some supernatural being, the word angelus appears; such differentiation has been taken over by vernacular translations of the Bible, early Christian and Jewish exegetes and modern scholars. The Torah uses the terms מלאך אלהים, מלאך יהוה, בני אלהים and הקודשים to refer to beings traditionally interpreted as angels. Texts use other terms, such as העליונים; the term מלאך is used in other books of the Tanakh. Depending on the context, the Hebrew word may refer to a human messenger or to a supernatural messenger.
A human messenger might be a prophet or priest, such as Malachi, "my messenger". Examples of a supernatural messenger are the "Malak YHWH,", either a messenger from God, an aspect of God, or God himself as the messenger Scholar Michael D. Coogan notes that it is only in the late books that the terms "come to mean the benevolent semi-divine beings familiar from mythology and art." Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer to individual angels by name, mentioning Gabriel in Daniel 9:21 and Michael in Daniel 10:13. These angels are part of Daniel's apocalyptic visions and are an important part of all apocalyptic literature. In Daniel 7, Daniel receives a dream-vision from God; as Daniel watches, the Ancient of Days takes his seat on the throne of heaven and sits in judgement in the midst of the heavenly court an like a son of man approaches the Ancient One in the clouds of heaven and is given everlasting kingship. Coogan explains the development of this concept of angels: "In the postexilic period, with the development of explicit monotheism, these divine beings—the'sons of God' who were members of the Divine Council—were in effect demoted to what are now known as'angels', understood as beings created by God, but immortal and thus superior to humans."
This conception of angels is best understood in contrast to demons and is thought to be "influenced by the ancient Persian religious tradition of Zoroastrianism, which viewed the world as a battleground between forces of good and forces of evil, between light and darkness." One of these is a figure depicted in the Book of Job. Philo of Alexandria identifies the angel with the Logos inasmuch as the angel is the immaterial voice of God; the angel is conceived as God's instrument. Four classes of ministering angels minister and utter praise before the Holy One, blessed be He: the first camp Michael on His right, the second camp Gabriel on His left, the third camp Uriel before Him, the fourth camp Raphael behind Him, he is sitting on a throne high and exalted In post-Biblical Judaism, certain angels took on particular significance and developed unique personalities and roles. Although these archangels were believed to rank among the heavenly host, no systematic hierarchy developed. Metatron is considered one of the highest of the angels in Merkabah and Kabbalist mysticism and serves as a scribe.
Michael, who serves as a warrior and advocate for Israel, is looked upon fondly. Gabriel is mentioned in the Book of Daniel and in the Talmud, as well as in many Merkabah mystical texts. There is no evidence in Judaism for the worship of angels, but there is evidence for the invocation and sometimes conjuration of angels. According to Kabbalah
Suffolk is an East Anglian county of historic origin in England. It has borders with Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south; the North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich; the county is low-lying with few hills, is arable land with the wetlands of the Broads in the north. The Suffolk Coast and Heaths are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. By the fifth century, the Angles had established control of the region; the Angles became the "north folk" and the "south folk", from which developed the names "Norfolk" and "Suffolk". Suffolk and several adjacent areas became the kingdom of East Anglia, which merged with Mercia and Wessex. Suffolk was divided into four separate Quarter Sessions divisions. In 1860, the number of divisions was reduced to two; the eastern division was administered from the western from Bury St Edmunds. Under the Local Government Act 1888, the two divisions were made the separate administrative counties of East Suffolk and West Suffolk. A few Essex parishes were added to Suffolk: Ballingdon-with-Brundon and parts of Haverhill and Kedington.
On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, East Suffolk, West Suffolk, Ipswich were merged to form the unified county of Suffolk. The county was divided into several local government districts: Babergh, Forest Heath, Mid Suffolk, St Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal, Waveney; this act transferred some land near Great Yarmouth to Norfolk. As introduced in Parliament, the Local Government Act would have transferred Newmarket and Haverhill to Cambridgeshire and Colchester from Essex. In 2007, the Department for Communities and Local Government referred Ipswich Borough Council's bid to become a new unitary authority to the Boundary Committee; the Boundary Committee reported in favour of the proposal. It was not, approved by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Beginning in February 2008, the Boundary Committee again reviewed local government in the county, with two possible options emerging. One was that of splitting Suffolk into two unitary authorities – Ipswich and Felixstowe and Rural Suffolk.
In February 2010, the then-Minister Rosie Winterton announced that no changes would be imposed on the structure of local government in the county as a result of the review, but that the government would be: "asking Suffolk councils and MPs to reach a consensus on what unitary solution they want through a countywide constitutional convention". Following the May 2010 general election, all further moves towards any of the suggested unitary solutions ceased on the instructions of the incoming Coalition government. In 2018 it was determined that Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury would be merged to form a new West Suffolk district, while Waveney and Suffolk Coastal would form a new East Suffolk district; these changes took effect on 1 April 2019. West Suffolk, like nearby East Cambridgeshire, is renowned for archaeological finds from the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age. Bronze Age artefacts have been found in the area between Mildenhall and West Row, in Eriswell and in Lakenheath. Many bronze objects, such as swords, arrows, palstaves, daggers, armour, decorative equipment, fragments of sheet bronze, are entrusted to St. Edmundsbury heritage service, housed at West Stow just outside Bury St. Edmunds.
Other finds include traces of barrows. In the east of the county is Sutton Hoo, the site of one of England's most significant Anglo-Saxon archaeological finds, a ship burial containing a collection of treasures including a Sword of State and silver bowls, jewellery and a lyre; the majority of agriculture in Suffolk is either mixed. Farm sizes vary from anything around 80 acres to over 8,000. Soil types vary from heavy clays to light sands. Crops grown include:winter wheat, winter barley, sugar beet, oilseed rape and spring beans and linseed, although smaller areas of rye and oats can be found growing in areas with lighter soils along with a variety of vegetables; the continuing importance of agriculture in the county is reflected in the Suffolk Show, held annually in May at Ipswich. Although latterly somewhat changed in nature, this remains an agricultural show. Below is a chart of regional gross value added of Suffolk at current basic prices published by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
Well-known companies in Suffolk include Greene Branston Pickle in Bury St Edmunds. Birds Eye has its largest UK factory in Lowestoft, where all its meat products and frozen vegetables are processed. Huntley & Palmers biscuit company has a base in Sudbury; the UK horse racing industry is based in Newmarket. There are two USAF bases in the west of the county close to the A11. Sizewell B nuclear power station is at Sizewell on the coast near Leiston. Bernard Matthews Farms have some processing units in the county Holton. Southwold is the home of Adnams Brewery; the Port of Felixstowe is the largest container port in the United Kingdom. Other ports are at Ipswich, run by Associated British Ports. BT has its main development facility at Martlesham Heath. There are several towns in the county with Ipswich being most populous. At the time
A hagiography is a biography of a saint or an ecclesiastical leader. The term hagiography may be used to refer to the biography of a saint or developed spiritual being in any of the world's spiritual traditions. Christian hagiographies focus on the lives, notably the miracles, ascribed to men and women canonized by the Roman Catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Church of the East. Other religious traditions such as Buddhism, Islam and Jainism create and maintain hagiographical texts concerning saints and other individuals believed to be imbued with sacred power. Hagiographic works those of the Middle Ages, can incorporate a record of institutional and local history, evidence of popular cults and traditions. However, when referring to modern, non-ecclesiastical works, the term hagiography is used as a pejorative reference to biographies and histories whose authors are perceived to be uncritical of or reverential to their subject. Hagiography constituted an important literary genre in the early Christian church, providing some informational history along with the more inspirational stories and legends.
A hagiographic account of an individual saint can consist of a biography, a description of the saint's deeds or miracles, an account of the saint's martyrdom, or be a combination of these. The genre of lives of the saints first came into being in the Roman Empire as legends about Christian martyrs were recorded; the dates of their deaths formed the basis of martyrologies. In the 4th century, there were three main types of catalogs of lives of the saints: annual calendar catalogue, or menaion, biographies of the saints to be read at sermons. In Western Europe hagiography was one of the more important vehicles for the study of inspirational history during the Middle Ages; the Golden Legend of Jacob de Voragine compiled a great deal of medieval hagiographic material, with a strong emphasis on miracle tales. Lives were written to promote the cult of local or national states, in particular to develop pilgrimages to visit relics; the bronze Gniezno Doors of Gniezno Cathedral in Poland are the only Romanesque doors in Europe to feature the life of a saint.
The life of Saint Adalbert of Prague, buried in the cathedral, is shown in 18 scenes based on a lost illuminated copy of one of his Lives. The Bollandist Society continues the study, academic assembly and publication of materials relating to the lives of Christian saints. Many of the important hagiographical texts composed in medieval England were written in the vernacular dialect Anglo-Norman. With the introduction of Latin literature into England in the 7th and 8th centuries the genre of the life of the saint grew popular; when one contrasts it to the popular heroic poem, such as Beowulf, one finds that they share certain common features. In Beowulf, the titular character battles against Grendel and his mother, while the saint, such as Athanasius' Anthony or the character of Guthlac, battles against figures no less substantial in a spiritual sense. Both genres focus on the hero-warrior figure, but with the distinction that the saint is of a spiritual sort. Imitation of the life of Christ was the benchmark against which saints were measured, imitation of the lives of saints was the benchmark against which the general population measured itself.
In Anglo-Saxon and medieval England, hagiography became a literary genre par excellence for the teaching of a illiterate audience. Hagiography provided priests and theologians with classical handbooks in a form that allowed them the rhetorical tools necessary to present their faith through the example of the saints' lives. Of all the English hagiographers no one was more prolific nor so aware of the importance of the genre as Abbot Ælfric of Eynsham, his work Lives of the Saints contains set of sermons on saints' days observed by the English Church. The text comprises two prefaces, one in Latin and one in Old English, 39 lives beginning on December 25 with the nativity of Christ and ending with three texts to which no saints' days are attached; the text spans the entire year and describes the lives of many saints, both English and continental, hearkens back to some of the earliest saints of the early church. There are two known instances; these are the Cornish-language works Beunans Meriasek and Beunans Ke, about the lives of Saints Meriasek and Kea, respectively.
Other examples of hagiographies from England include: the Chronicle by Hugh Candidus the Secgan Manuscript the list of John Leyland the book Life by Saint Cadog Ireland is notable in its rich hagiographical tradition, for the large amount of material, produced during the Middle Ages. Irish hagiographers wrote in Latin while some of the saint's lives were written in the hagiographer's native vernacular Irish. Of particular note are the lives of St. Patrick, St. Columba /Colm and St. Brigit/Brigid—Ireland's three patron saints. Additionally, several Irish calendars relating to the feastd
Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship a deity, through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity, or a deified ancestor. More prayer can have the purpose of thanksgiving or praise, in comparative religion is associated with more abstract forms of meditation and with charms or spells. Prayer can take a variety of forms: it can be part of a set liturgy or ritual, it can be performed alone or in groups. Prayer may take the form of a hymn, formal creedal statement, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. Today, most major religions involve prayer in another; the English term prayer is from Medieval Latin precaria "petition, prayer". The Vulgate Latin is oratio, which translates Greek προσευχή in turn the Septuagint translation of Biblical Hebrew תְּפִלָּה tĕphillah. Various spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals, reverent physical gestures.
Some Christians fold their hands. Some Native Americans regard dancing as a form of prayer; some Sufis whirl. Hindus chant mantras. Jewish prayer may involve bowing. Muslims practice salat in their prayers. Quakers keep silent; some pray according to standardized rituals and liturgies, while others prefer extemporaneous prayers. Still others combine the two. Friedrich Heiler is cited in Christian circles for his systematic Typology of Prayer which lists six types of prayer: primitive, Greek cultural, philosophical and prophetic; some forms of prayer require a prior ritualistic form of cleansing or purification such as in ghusl and wudhu. Prayer may be done and individually, or it may be done corporately in the presence of fellow believers. Prayer can be incorporated into a daily "thought life", in which one is in constant communication with a god; some people pray throughout all, happening during the day and seek guidance as the day progresses. This is regarded as a requirement in several Christian denominations, although enforcement is not possible nor desirable.
There can be many different answers to prayer, just as there are many ways to interpret an answer to a question, if there in fact comes an answer. Some may experience physical, or mental epiphanies. If indeed an answer comes, the time and place it comes is considered random; some outward acts that sometimes accompany prayer are: anointing with oil. One less noticeable act related to prayer is fasting. A variety of body postures may be assumed with specific meaning associated with them: standing. Prayers may be recited from memory, read from a book of prayers, or composed spontaneously as they are prayed, they may be chanted, or sung. They may be with musical accompaniment or not. There may be a time of outward silence. There are prayers to fit specific occasions, such as the blessing of a meal, the birth or death of a loved one, other significant events in the life of a believer, or days of the year that have special religious significance. Details corresponding to specific traditions are outlined below.
Anthropologically, the concept of prayer is related to that of surrender and supplication. The traditional posture of prayer in medieval Europe is kneeling or supine with clasped hands, in antiquity more with raised hands; the early Christian prayer posture was standing, looking up to heaven, with outspread arms and bare head. This is the pagan prayer posture. Certain Cretan and Cypriote figures of the Late Bronze Age, with arms raised, have been interpreted as worshippers, their posture is similar to the "flight" posture, a crouching posture with raised hands, observed in schizophrenic patients and related to the universal "hands up" gesture of surrender. The kneeling posture with clasped hands appears to have been introduced only with the beginning high medieval period adopted from a gesture of feudal homage. Although prayer in its literal sense is not used in animism, communication with the spirit world is vital to the animist way of life; this is accomplished through a shaman who, through a trance, gains access to the spirit world and shows the spirits' thoughts to the people.
Other ways to receive messages from the spirits include using astrology or contemplating fortune tellers and healers. Some of the oldest extant literature, such as the Sumerian temple hymns of Enheduanna are liturgy addressed to deities and thus technically "prayer"; the Egyptian Pyramid Texts of about the same period contain spells or incantations addressed to the gods. In the loosest sense, in the form of magical thinking combined with animism, prayer has been argued as representing a human cultural universal, which would have been present since the emergence of behavioral modernity, by anthropologists such as Sir Edward Burnett Tylor a
Buckinghamshire, abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county in South East England which borders Greater London to the south east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, Bedfordshire to the north east and Hertfordshire to the east. Buckinghamshire is one of the home counties and towns such as High Wycombe, Amersham and the Chalfonts in the east and southeast of the county are parts of the London commuter belt, forming some of the most densely populated parts of the county. Development in this region is restricted by the Metropolitan Green Belt. Other large settlements include the county town of Aylesbury, Marlow in the south near the Thames and Princes Risborough in the west near Oxford; some areas without direct rail links to London, such as around the old county town of Buckingham and near Olney in the northeast, are much less populous. The largest town is Milton Keynes in the northeast, which with the surrounding area is administered as a unitary authority separately to the rest of Buckinghamshire.
The remainder of the county is administered by Buckinghamshire County Council as a non-metropolitan county, four district councils. In national elections, Buckinghamshire is considered a reliable supporter of the Conservative Party. A large part of the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, runs through the south of the county and attracts many walkers and cyclists from London. In this area older buildings are made from local flint and red brick. Many parts of the county are quite affluent and like many areas around London this has led to problems with housing costs: several reports have identified the market town of Beaconsfield as having among the highest property prices outside London. Chequers, a mansion estate owned by the government, is the country retreat of the incumbent Prime Minister. To the north of the county lies rolling countryside in the Vale of Aylesbury and around the Great Ouse; the Thames forms part of the county’s southwestern boundary. Notable service amenities in the county are Pinewood Film Studios, Dorney rowing lake and part of Silverstone race track on the Northamptonshire border.
Many national companies have offices in Milton Keynes. Heavy industry and quarrying is limited, with agriculture predominating after service industries; the name Buckinghamshire means The district of Bucca's home. Bucca's home refers to Buckingham in the north of the county, is named after an Anglo-Saxon landowner; the county has been so named since about the 12th century. The history of the area predates the Anglo-Saxon period and the county has a rich history starting from the Celtic and Roman periods, though the Anglo-Saxons had the greatest impact on Buckinghamshire: the geography of the rural county is as it was in the Anglo-Saxon period. Buckinghamshire became an important political arena, with King Henry VIII intervening in local politics in the 16th century and just a century the English Civil War was reputedly started by John Hampden in mid-Bucks; the biggest change to the county came in the 19th century, when a combination of cholera and famine hit the rural county, forcing many to migrate to larger towns to find work.
Not only did this alter the local economic situation, it meant a lot of land was going cheap at a time when the rich were more mobile and leafy Bucks became a popular rural idyll: an image it still has today. Buckinghamshire is a popular home for London commuters, leading to greater local affluence; the expansion of London and coming of the railways promoted the growth of towns in the south of the county such as Aylesbury and High Wycombe, leaving the town Buckingham itself to the north in a relative backwater. As a result, most county institutions are now based in the south of the county or Milton Keynes, rather than in Buckingham; the county can be split into two sections geographically. The south leads from the River Thames up the gentle slopes of the Chiltern Hills to the more abrupt slopes on the northern side leading to the Vale of Aylesbury, a large flat expanse of land, which includes the path of the River Great Ouse; the county includes parts of two of the four longest rivers in England.
The River Thames forms the southern boundary with Berkshire, which has crept over the border at Eton and Slough so that the river is no longer the sole boundary between the two counties. The River Great Ouse rises just outside the county in Northamptonshire and flows east through Buckingham, Milton Keynes and Olney; the main branch of the Grand Union Canal passes through the county as do its arms to Slough, Aylesbury and Buckingham. The canal has been incorporated into the landscaping of Milton Keynes; the southern part of the county is dominated by the Chiltern Hills. The two highest points in Buckinghamshire are Haddington Hill in Wendover Woods at 267 metres above sea level, Coombe Hill near Wendover at 260 metres. Quarrying has taken clay for brickmaking and gravel and sand in the river valleys. Flint extracted from quarries, was used to build older local buildings. Several former quarries, now flooded, have become nature reserves; as can be seen from the table, the Vale of Aylesbury and the Borough of Milton Keynes have been identified as growth areas, with a projected population surge of 40,000 in Aylesbury Vale between 2011 and 2026 and 75,000 in Milton Keynes within the same 15 years.
The population of the Borough of Milton Keynes is expected to reach 350,000 by 2031. Buckinghamshire is sub-divided into civil parishes. Today Bucking
A meadow is a open habitat, or field, vegetated by grass and other non-woody plants. They attract a multitude of wildlife and support flora and fauna that could not thrive in other conditions, they provide areas for courtship displays, food gathering, pollinating insects, sometimes sheltering, if the vegetation is high enough, making them ecologically important. There are multiple types of meadows, such as agricultural and perpetual, each important to the ecosystem. Meadows may be occurring or artificially created from cleared shrub or woodland. In agriculture, a meadow is grassland, not grazed by domestic livestock, but rather allowed to grow unchecked in order to produce hay. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the term meadow is used in its original sense to mean a hay meadow, signifying grassland mown annually in the summer for making hay. Agricultural meadows are lowland or upland fields upon which hay or pasture grasses grow from self-sown or hand-sown seed. Traditional hay meadows are now in decline.
Ecologist Professor John Rodwell states that over the past century and Wales have lost about 97% of their hay meadows. Fewer than 15.000 hectares of lowland meadows remain in the UK and most sites are small and fragmented. 25% of the UK's meadows are found in Worcestershire, with Foster's Green Meadow managed by the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust being a major site. A similar concept to the hay meadow is the pasture, which differs from the meadow in that it is grazed through the summer, rather than being allowed to grow out and periodically be cut for hay. A pasture can refer to any land used for grazing, in this wider sense the term refers not only to grass pasture, but to non-grassland habitats such as heathland and wood pasture; the term, grassland, is used to describe both hay meadows and grass pastures. The specific agricultural practices in relation to the meadow can take on various expressions; as mentioned, this could be hay production or providing food for grazing cattle and livestock but to give room for orchards or honey production.
A transitional meadow occurs when a field, farmland, or other cleared land is no longer cut or grazed and starts to display luxuriant growth, extending to the flowering and self-seeding of its grass and wild flower species. The condition is however only temporary, because the grasses become shaded out when scrub and woody plants become well-established, being the forerunners of the return to a wooded state. A transitional state can be artificially-maintained through a double-field system, in which cultivated soil and meadows are alternated for a period of 10 to 12 years each. In North America prior to European colonization, Algonquians and other Native Americans peoples cleared areas of forest to create transitional meadows where deer and game could find food and be hunted. For example, some of today's meadows originated thousands of years ago, due to regular burnings by Native Americans. A perpetual meadow called a natural meadow, is one in which environmental factors, such as climatic and soil conditions, are favorable to perennial grasses and restrict the growth of woody plants indefinitely.
Types of perpetual meadows may include: Alpine meadows occur at high elevations above the tree line and maintained by harsh climatic conditions. Coastal meadows maintained by salt sprays. Desert meadows restricted by low lack of nutrients and humus. Prairies maintained by periods of severe subject to wildfires. Wet meadows saturated with water throughout much of the year. Artificially or culturally conceived meadows emerge from and continually require human intervention to persist and flourish. In many places, the natural, pristine populations of free roaming large grazers are either extinct or limited due to human activities; this reduces or removes their natural influence on the surrounding ecology and results in meadows only being created or maintained by human intervention. Existing meadows could and decline, if unmaintained by agricultural practices, but a reintroduction of large grazers could influence meadows to reappear as natural habitats in the landscape. Mankind has influenced the ecology and the landscape for millennia in many parts of the world, so it can sometimes be difficult to discern what is natural and what is cultural.
Meadows are one example. As extensive farming like grazing is diminishing in some parts of the world, the meadow is endangered as a habitat; some scientific projects are therefore experimenting with reintroduction of natural grazers. This includes deer, goat, wild horse, etc. depending on the location. A more exotic example with a wider scope, is the European Tauros Programme; some environmental organization recommend to convert Lawns to meadows by stopping or reducing mowing. They claim that meadows can better preserve biodiversity, reduce the use of fertilizers. For example, in 2018 environmental organizations with the support of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs of England, concerned by the decline in the numbre of Bees worldwide, in the first day of Bees' Needs Week 2018 give some recommendation how preserve bees; the recommendations include 1) growing flowers and trees, 2) letting the garden grow wild, 3) cutting grass less 4) leaving insect nest and hibernation spots alone, 5) using careful consideration with pesticides.
Foundation for Restoring European Ecosystems UK Wild Meadows Website Irish Wild Meadows Website Meadow Planting A Year in a Meadow Grow a Back Yard Meadow Adrian Higgins, "Today, 32,000 Seedlings.