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Help for hay meadows in the Dales
4:42pm Wednesday 25th July 2012 in News
A NEW project has been launched to celebrate and restore hay meadows in one of the region’s most spectacular landscapes.
The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust’s Into the Measdows scheme will help residents and visitors of all ages learn about the natural, cultural and historical heritage of the meadows.
It will also involve a bid to restore 40 hectares of meadow in the National Park that have lost some of their botanical diversity due to intensive farming.
The project’s education officer Tanya St. Pierre, is providing a range of meadow-themed events and activities for local schools and the general public over the coming months.
At Reeth local primary school pupils recently learned to identify meadow flowers and insect species whilst conducting a mini-survey of their wildflower hay meadows.
The children also had the chance to put their new-found knowledge to the test, painting a range of colourful meadow flowers and insects onto calico. The finished collage will be on display at Reeth Show in August.
In addition to the education work, the trust will be co-ordinating meadow restoration schemes across the Dales during the coming months and in the summer of 2013 in a bid to restore 40 hectares of meadow.
Ripe meadow seed will be carefully harvested and spread on nearby meadows that are restorable using techniques that have been tried, tested and proven by the trust to successfully reintroduce wildflowers back into the meadows.
The project is scheduled to draw to a close late next year, but the education work will continue with the creation of resource boxes to help schools provide their own meadow-themed educational activities.
Project manager Don Gamble said: “We’re very pleased that we’ve been able to set up the new project, which builds on our experience of providing education and conservation work linked to the iconic flowery meadows of the Dales.”