Swaledale Ramble to mark National Meadows Day

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National Meadows Day will be celebrated in Swaledale next month.

The Flowers of Upper Swaledale Ramble will be held on Saturday 1 July from 11am to 3pm from Keld Resource Centre.

The walk is organised in association with Yoredale Natural History Society.

From Keld to Muker, it follows the footpath through the famous flower-rich hay meadows that Swaledale is famous for.

Yoredale’s knowledgeable volunteer, Charles Helm, will explain the history of the meadows and help with flower identification.

Walkers can return on foot to Keld or wait in Muker to catch the 1620 bus if you prefer.

National Meadows Day is the headline event of Save Our Magnificent Meadows, the UK’s largest partnership project transforming the fortunes of our vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife.

Plantlife, supported by money raised by National Lottery players with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), is spearheading the project.

Claire Parton, Save Our Magnificent Meadows Project Manager, said: “Meadows, once a feature of every parish in North Yorkshire, are now an increasingly fragile part of our national heritage but all is not lost.

“National Meadows Day is the perfect way to explore and enjoy the flowers and wildlife of Swaledale’s magnificent meadows and understand their special place in our shared social and cultural history.

“Beyond being a quintessential sight of summer, meadows’ value to our wildlife cannot be overstated – a single healthy meadow can be home to over 80 species of wild flowers, such as cuckoo flower, yellow rattle, orchids, knapweed and scabious, compared to most modern agricultural pasture which typically  supports under a dozen species.

“Just 100 years ago there would have been a meadow in every parish, supporting a way of life that had gone on for centuries. They provided grazing and hay for livestock, employment, and food and medicine for the parish and were part of a community’s cultural and social history.

“Today, just 3% of the meadows that existed in the 1930’s remain – that’s a loss of 7.5 million acres of wild flower grassland.”

For more details and to book on the Swaledale walk, click here.