Hay Time is an ambitious project that aims to save our disappearing species-rich hay meadows, grasslands and the wildlife they support.
In order to reverse the drastic decline of our wildflower hay meadows we need more people to experience, understand and value these rare and complex ecosystems.
Through Hay Time and our other projects we have helped thousands of people to enjoy, learn about and contribute to the conservation of our meadows in the Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland.
Meadow education for schools
Working with schools to help children discover and learn about hay meadows
Working with primary schools our meadow discovery visits have helped hundreds of children to explore hay meadows and discover their flowers and wildlife first hand. Children have also learnt about the cultural history of our meadows, how hay meadow use has changed over time and the effect this has had on biodiversity.
To support this we developed resources for schools to deliver their own activities, including teacher’s notes and materials, classroom delivery ideas, wildlife, cultural and land management information about the habitat, and materials for children to use.
Flowers of the Dales Festival
Our annual Flowers of the Dales Festival celebrates wonderful wildflowers, their habitats and the species they support. More than 33,000 people have enjoyed taking part since the first Festival in 2009 – helping to raise awareness about the importance of wildflower meadows and how we can help to conserve them. The Festival offers over 120 wildflower and nature themed events and activities including wildflower, bumblebee, bat and butterfly walks and talks, photography courses, hands-on conservation activities, art exhibitions, children’s craft activities, quizzes, identification courses and much more. Download the 2018 Flowers of the Dales Festival programme
Through the Hay Time project and other initiatives we’ve built considerable experience and expertise in meadow restoration and education. This has enabled us to make links with other areas – both here and abroad – to share our experience and also to help set up similar projects.
Nidderdale AONB set up a meadow restoration project, following the successful delivery of a number of restoration schemes that we helped to coordinate in 2011. And in May 2012 we teamed up with the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to launch the Bowland Hay Time project
Today our meadow restoration work is done in close collaboration with partners, farmers and communities - follow the links below to find out about our Meadow Links and Wildflowers for the Meadows projects.