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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

One trust went to sow, went to sow a meadow and ten years on ...

Conservation and environmental charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is celebrating ten years since it launched an ambitious scheme to save the declining species-rich hay meadows in the area. And 600 hectares later, the trust team is still making meadows.
A big thumbs up ... Tanya St Pierre and Chris Myers celebrate
ten years of restoring vital meadows, near Askrigg..
 Over the past fifty years, 97 per cent of meadows in the UK have been lost through agricultural intensification, making them one of our most threatened habitats. Only a thousand hectares (less than four square miles) survived, putting hundreds of species of wildflowers and plants, bees, birds and other native wildlife species at risk.

The Hay Time project was set up ten years ago to change that with the trust working alongside farmers and partners Natural England, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to restore more than two square miles of degraded meadows. Trust officials say the work has brought precious habitat back from the brink.

When original funding for the project ended three years ago, the trust launched its Hay Time Appeal, raising £186,500 to help continue this vital work.

Project ambassador Chris Myers said the trust's work to bring back wildflower meadows had struck a chord with people because,they were vital habitats for native wildlife and a beautiful and iconic part of the landscape, and a living piece of cultural history.

The project is helping more people experience the beauty of species-rich meadows, and helping them to understand the vital role they play as a habitat for pollinators and rare species through its educational work.

The trust is inviting people to support hay meadow restoration by dedicating a piece of living wildflower meadow in the dales for £25. Further information:

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