THE noun 'meadow' is one of my favourite words in the English language because it encapsulates all that is good, especially on a sunny day.

A field of ox-eye daisies waving in a gentle summer breeze is, for me, one of the most beautiful sights in the natural world and if there are red poppies dotted around the perimeter, so much the better.

Nature Notes: The 'magical' foxglove loved by bees

A meadow like the one I'm in today must be cherished, bearing in mind the fact that we have lost more than 90 percent of our flower-rich meadows since the end of the Second World War. There is a range of grasses plus clovers, trefoils, buttercups, yellow rattle, common spotted orchids and a sprinkling of dainty bee orchids.

Grasshoppers at various stages of development ping about underfoot while meadow brown, common blue, skipper butterflies and burnet day-flying moths flit among the flowers.

Nature Notes: Take a moment to admire damselflies

If we are fortunate, a skylark may ascend to sing his silvery melody from on high, common lizards scuttle away beneath our feet and a kestrel hovers in the distance.

Swallows skim the grasses, scooping up flying insects, as do flocks of swifts dashing around us at head height so that we can actually hear the snapping of their beaks as they catch flies.

That just about sums up my perfect day in a vibrant, colourful meadow.