Meadows Teachers Resources

Full of information, activities, and games the Into the Meadows Education Pack is designed for teachers to help explain and celebrate the importance of our rare species-rich hay meadows.

Into the Meadows Education Pack

Hay meadows are exciting places – full of colour, sounds and smells, and teeming with wildlife. One single hay meadow can contain up to 120 species of plant and provides feeding and nesting sites for insects, mammals, and birds.

The Yorkshire Dales is one of the few remaining strongholds for traditionally managed species-rich hay meadows. In the last seventy years we've seen a staggering 97% of these meadows lost, making them one of the UK’s most threatened habitats. Helping children connect with these precious habitats is vital if they are to value and help look after them in years to come.

What's in the meadows education pack?

The pack supports the delivery of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 1 and 2 and has been written specifically for schools in or close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, but may still be of interest to schools outside the area.

Activities are designed to inspire and appeal to children (and adults!) and encourage team working and collaborative learning. Activities can be adapted to accommodate children's ages, learning styles, experience, levels of achievement and differing needs. 

We've included a mix of indoor and outdoor-based activities, many of which we've tried and tested with schools. While the indoor activities provide valuable learning opportunities, children will gain most by visiting and experiencing a meadow for themselves.

Tips for how to use the meadows education pack

  • Sections 1 to 4 - What are hay meadows and why are they important? The landscape of the Yorkshire Dales and the meadows' place within it. How meadows came about, their importance for plants and animals, and how the meadows were traditionally managed.
  • Sections 5 and 6 - Planning a meadow visit and meadow activities. How to plan a meadow visit and carry out field-based activities.
  • Section 7 - Celebrating our meadows. Practical and fun things children can do to help protect and celebrate our meadows.
  • Section 8 - Reference and resources. 

Sections 1 to 6 can be worked through in the order in which they are set out, but Section 7 is more flexible, and some activities can be carried out before or after a meadow visit. Alternatively dip into different sections to fit your planning requirements.

We have used icons to link activities to the relevant key stage and subject area, allowing teachers and education providers to adapt their planning to the curriculum framework.

Saving our hay meadows 

Fin out about Hay Time our ambitious project that aims to save our disappearing species-rich hay meadows, grasslands and the wildlife they support.