A hay meadow strewn with vibrant wildflowers is an iconic image that
many people associate with the Yorkshire Dales. Sadly today only a tiny
percentage of these meadows remain.
Meadows for wildlife
Visually stunning and teeming with wildlife, species-rich hay meadows are of high nature conservation and landscape value. A
traditionally managed meadow can support up to 120 different species of
wildflowers and other plants, as well as many species of invertebrates,
bats, mammals and birds. Hay meadows are a vital habitat for bees but many species of bumblebee are in decline and some have already become extinct.
Meadows for culture
meadows are also an important part of our rural and cultural heritage. A
meadow is a settlement’s living link to the past and may be older than
the oldest building, so the loss of a hay meadow constitutes the loss of
an historical place as much as a wildlife habitat and landscape
The future of our meadows
Over the last fifty years or so, some 97% of meadows in the UK have been lost, largely due to modern, intensive farming methods.
Yorkshire Dales still have some of the best hay meadows in the UK which
is why YDMT, in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales National Park
Authority, has been working hard to conserve and restore these complex
ecosystems and protect the wildlife they support. The Hay Time project initially ran from 2006 to 2011, but we secured further funding to carry on the work until October 2014.
The Hay Time AppealWe
are raising funds now to ensure that our vital work to save the few
remaining species-rich hay meadows in the Yorkshire Dales can continue.
You can help by donating to our Hay Time Appeal or why not dedicate a piece of beautiful wildflower meadow with a Living Bouquet gift. Your support will make a difference to the future of our precious meadows.
Hay Time publications and other items to buy from our shop:
- An Illustrated Guide to Collecting and Propagating Seed of Hay Meadow Flowers
- DVD of “Sward! The Story of a Meadow”
- Hay Meadow Species Guide
- Hay Time in the Yorkshire Dales book
- Hay Time - Analysis of Survey Data 2006-2011
- Hay Time - Final Report 2012
- Wildflower Meadow jigsaw
- Wildflower Seed Mix
Hay Time publications to download: