Hay time hope growing for vanishing meadows

One of the traditional hay meadows where wildflowers are being preserved
One of the traditional hay meadows where wildflowers are being preserved

An appeal to save threatened wildflower meadows has successfully spread from the Yorkshire Dales into the Forest of Bowland.

The Hay Time Appeal was launched in 2013 by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust with the aim of raising £150,000 to fund an ongoing programme of meadow restoration and education work.

I am thrilled that we have already been able to exceed many of our original aims for the Appeal, but we want to carry on the momentum of the project and achieve even more

Tanya St Pierre, Hay Time

Now, a little over two years into the three-year appeal, more than £142,500 has already been raised thanks to donations from individuals and local businesses, and grants from charitable trusts.

Together with the vital support and commitment of farmers and landowners, this has allowed the Hay Time project to continue across the Yorkshire Dales and expand into the Forest of Bowland, and many of the original targets for the appeal have already been far exceeded.

Aims to re-introduce wildflowers into 20 hectares of degraded meadow each year have been surpassed. In 2013 the team added sustainably sourced seed to more than 60 hectares of degraded meadowland, 65 hectares in 2014, and a further 75 hectares are expected to be complete by the end of this summer.

Wildflower hay meadows are currently one of the most threatened habitats in Britain. Over the last fifty years 97 per cent of meadows in the UK have been lost with less than 4 square miles) surviving, putting many native wildlife species, and links with our cultural heritage, at risk.

Tanya St Pierre, Hay Time project officer, said: “I am thrilled that we have already been able to exceed many of our original aims for the Appeal, but we want to carry on the momentum of the project and achieve even more.

“We’ve increased our target for the appeal to £200,000 to enable us to build on this success in 2016 and make a real difference for future generations. I hope that people and organisations will dig deep to help us achieve this.”

To find out more visit www.ydmt.org/HayTimeAppeal or call YDMT on 015242 51002.