Project information

Hay Time - saving our precious hay meadows

Upland hay meadows are one of the most threatened habitats in Europe. The Hay Time project will help safeguard the few remaining species-rich hay meadows in the Yorkshire Dales and will enable more people to understand, value and protect our meadows, through education in schools and public events.

April 2017 - January 2019

Charity information: The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust

The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust logo
  • Need


    Upland hay meadows are one of the scarcest habitats in Europe. The Yorkshire Dales contain about a sixth of the estimated 640 hectares of remaining upland hay meadows in the UK, as well as a significant number of nationally important lowland meadows. We urgently need to safeguard the few meadows that remain. The more people care about our meadows, the greater the force to reverse their decline. We need to raise awareness about the importance of hay meadows and encourage people to value them.


    We aim to raise £150k to carry out vital work over the next three years, including:
    • Restoration work to protect the remaining species-rich meadows and restore degraded meadows that have lost their wildlife value
    • The provision of educational activities and resources for schools, so children can learn about the natural, cultural and historical value of hay meadows
    • Increase awareness, enjoyment and understanding of hay meadows through hay meadow themed public events and activities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Coordinate and implement a programme of schemes to restore 60 hectares of degraded hay meadow.


    » Schemes will involve surveying seed donor and receptor meadows, liaison with farmers and contractors and co-ordinating seed harvesting and spreading.

    What success will look like

    60 ha of degraded meadow will have been worked on. Monitoring will be carried out to determine the success of seed addition in restoring botanical diversity.

    Aim 2

    Provide at least 300 meadow-themed events and activities for the public.


    » Through co-ordinating and providing a programme of public events.

    What success will look like

    Co-ordinating a programme of up to 130 events each year as part of the Flowers of the Dales Festival. Recording audience figures and gathering feedback from participants.

    Aim 3

    Enable 750 school children to take part in meadow themed educational activities and meadow visits.


    » Curriculum-linked activities in the classroom and nearby meadows.
    » Provision of curriculum-linked teachers resources.

    What success will look like

    Delivering a wide range of educational meadow activities, resources and meadow visits to around 10 schools, involving up to 250 children each year.

  • Impact


    Restored meadows will become species richer over time. Long-term management and monitoring plans will be in place to ensure consistent, traditional management. Children are future guardians of our hay meadows, giving them first-hand experiences and providing schools with educational resources to use beyond the project will help inspire and educate the next generation. Awareness raising events will result in more people who value and want to do something to save our precious hay meadow resource.


    Meadow restoration needs careful coordination, so we will provide a skilled and experienced conservation officer to ensure schemes are implemented as smoothly as possible, taking into account all the factors involved. There is a risk that the public and local schools won’t engage with the project, so we will provide an enthusiastic education officer to run a range of interesting and fun community and education activities.


    Donors will receive regular email updates as the project progresses detailing the on-going and forthcoming activities, the number of schemes implemented, and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans. Donors will be invited to events and encouraged to volunteer.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £200,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £66,700 Project Manager costs Salary, travel, office facilities
      £47,300 Meadow restoration costs Meadow seed, contractors, volunteers, machinery maintenance
      £60,450 Education Officer & resources Salary, travel, office facilities, educational materials, school travel. Meadow interpretation.
      £25,550 Project administration Project management and overheads

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Higher Level Stewardship £45,000 Conditional
    LEADER £5,700 Guaranteed
    SDF £2,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Yorkshire Dales National Park is of national importance for its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage. The National Park itself contains about a sixth of the estimated 640 hectares of remaining upland hay meadows in the UK, as well as a significant number of nationally important lowland meadows. Around 20,000 people live in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with the main industries being upland farming and tourism. Over 8 million visitors come to the area every year.


    • Upland farmers with restored meadows can access much-needed financial support through agri-environment schemes. Farmers with good meadows can generate income by selling meadow seed.
    • School children will be able to take part in a wide range of meadow themed educational activities including drama, crafts and creating mini meadows.
    • Everyone can access the wide range of meadow-themed events and activities available to help people find out more about meadows and help protect them.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Over the last 15 years YDMT has developed and delivered over 1300 capital and educational landscape and heritage projects worth around £25m. Working closely with local farmers we have already successfully implemented restoration schemes which will lead to more than 300 hectares of degraded meadow regaining their former glory. We have also worked extensively with the public and schools to celebrate and educate people about the wildlife, landscape and cultural value of meadows.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Don Gamble

    Hay Time Project Manager. An experienced project manager with over 6 years experience of managing hay meadow conservation and education projects.

    Tanya St Pierre

    Hay Time Education Officer. A qualified and experienced teacher who will deliver community and education work and co-ordinate public events.


will pay for an entire meadow restoration scheme

Hay meadows are an iconic part of our rural heritage. This project will help ensure that future generations will still be able to enjoy the meadows.

Don Gamble