How to restore a meadow – creating vital habitat for pollinators.

Right now it’s Hay Time in the Yorkshire Dales & Forest of Bowland. It’s a busy time for the Hay Time team at YDMT, and the farmers and contractors involved in meadow restoration schemes this summer. It’s also the start of another cycle of hay meadow creation – which is vital for our pollinators and other wildlife.

How to mow a meadow?

The process of meadow restoration can sound like a cross between a surgical procedure and a military operation! So we asked our Hay Time officers Tanya and Sarah to give us a step-by-step guide to green hay transfer – which is a common method used to harvest and spread seed.

Step 1 First off we start with a ‘Donor’ meadow and a ‘Receptor’ meadow  

A species-rich donor meadow

Donor Meadow A species-rich, traditionally managed meadow, where seed can be harvested from  

Receptor meadow, where species numbers have declined

Receptor meadow A more intensively managed meadow where species numbers have declined

Step 2 The receptor meadow is cut, cleared and harrowed.

Step 3 Shortly afterwards a specified area of the donor meadow is cut and the green hay is loaded onto a trailer to be taken to the receptor site.

Collecting green hay from the donor meadow

Step 2: Green hay is cut from the donor meadow

Spreading green hay

Step 3: Green hay is spread on the receptor meadow

Step 4 The green hay is loaded onto a spreader and spread on the receptor meadow.

Green hay is the preferred method of restoration as it collects a large quantity of seed from the widest range of plants, and is least affected by wet weather – a crucial factor in our part of the world! Other methods of harvesting and spreading are also used depending on the location and nature of the donor and receptor meadows.

Step 5 Next summer the restored (receptor) meadows will be surveyed, where we hope to see new species like yellow rattle, eyebright, red clover and meadow vetchling have been introduced, which are often the first colonisers.

Step 6 With time and traditional management treated meadows show significant increases in species richness, diversity and composition – great news for bumblebees and other pollinators, as well as a host of other wildlife species.

Hay meadows, a haven for wildlife

Step 5: In time treated meadows will become a vital habitat for pollinators and other wildlife 

School children explain why hay meadows are so important   

As well as the practical meadow restoration work, this year we’ve helped over 300 school children to visit and learn about the importance of hay meadows. In this great video find out why hay meadows are so important from the children and TV’s Chris Myers.

.

Save our precious meadows

The Hay Time project is made possible thanks to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and everyone who supports our Hay Time Appeal. Thank you.

Find out how you can help save our precious meadows.

Advertisements

YDMT secures £175,000 for Yorkshire Dales!

We have some very exciting news to share with you… We’ve just received £175,000 to invest in projects that care for the people, landscape and environment of the Yorkshire Dales!

It’s all thanks to the ongoing support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, a charity lottery that gives 50p from every £2 ticket sold to good causes like us. So far players have raised a staggering £47.2 Million for charities and good causes.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “Players of People’s Postcode Lottery support a wide range of good causes that make a real difference to both people and planet. YDMT is no exception, and we’re very pleased to be able to support their important work across the Yorkshire Dales.”

YDMT Director David Sharrod said: “Over the last five and a half years the Trust has received £576,332 from the charity lottery! This incredible sum of money plays a vital role in enabling us to continue delivering a wide range of inspiring projects that help to care for all aspects of life in the Yorkshire Dales.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their ongoing support which helps to fund important work including habitat conservation, education and outreach, and apprenticeship schemes for young people.

THANK YOU!

People's Postcode Lottery Charity Gala 2014

People’s Postcode Lottery Charity Gala 2014

Charity Lottery Support for the Dales tops £400,000!

We are delighted to confirm the ongoing support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery following a recent lottery grant of £24,000, bringing the grand total awarded to YDMT by the charity lottery to an incredible £401,332 over the last five years.

This ongoing support from players enables us to work with partners to help deliver a wide range of projects to safeguard this special part of the world for future generations, from restoring threatened wildlife habitats, to offering life-changing rural apprenticeships for young local people.

People's Postcode Lottery

Novamedia, the parent company of People’s Postcode Lottery, has just been announced as the world’s second largest private charity donor, having awarded £441 million to charitable causes across the world in 2013 (second only to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

This funding plays a vital role in helping countless charities to continue their valuable work.  Here at YDMT this crucial support is invested in a wide range of projects to support and care for all aspects of life in the Yorkshire Dales.

Kate Pearson, Trusts Manager at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust are a fantastic organisation and over the past five years it has been a pleasure to see them grow. I would like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery supporting this great charity.”

As 45p from every £2 ticket goes direct to good causes, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £34.3 million in total for good causes across Great Britain since the launch of the charity lottery in 2008.

Pen-y-ghent

Pen-y-ghent

David Sharrod, Director of Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful to all players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their ongoing support. Having raised in excess of £400,000 for the Trust – an incredible total! – players have enabled us to support hundreds of worthwhile projects and inspirational community groups across the Yorkshire Dales. These initiatives really make a difference to the region, with projects including education and outreach, habitat conservation and restoration, and apprenticeship schemes for young people to name just a few.”

£76k for Dales from People’s Postcode Lottery

We would like to say a huge thank you to all the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their ongoing support, as we’ve just been awarded an incredible £76,000 to support our work across the Yorkshire Dales!

Thanks to this support we are able to continue and expand our work caring for the people, environment and communities of this special part of the world.

This vital financial support brings the grand total awarded to YDMT by the charity lottery to £377,332 – a fantastic sum of money that means so much to the team here at YDMT, and the many communities and wildlife habitats that are able to help to care for with the help of People’s Postcode Lottery.

View towards Nine Standards Rigg peak and Swaledale, by Andy Merritt

View towards Nine Standards Rigg peak and Swaledale, by Andy Merritt

Our director David Sharrod commented: “We are delighted to hear that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised another £76,000 to support the work of the Trust. This is a staggering amount of money and we are very grateful to everyone who plays for their support which helps us to deliver a wide range of projects including habitat conservation, education and outreach, access improvements and apprenticeship schemes to name just a few.”

Kate Pearson, Acting Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We’re so happy to be able to support this wonderful charity yet again. It’s great that people in Yorkshire, including players of People’s Postcode Lottery, are able to benefit from the vital work they do. We see the difference they make to the lives of local people time and time again”

Lapwing now thrive at the restored wet grassland area near Settle

Lapwing now thrive at the restored wet grassland area near Settle

People’s Postcode Lottery launched in January 2008. 45p from every £2 ticket goes directly to good causes. From national charities to local good causes like us, the £29.5 million raised by players is making a huge difference to communities across Great Britain.  For more information visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk.

Thank you to all players and our friends at People’s Postcode Lottery!!!!

People's Postcode Lottery

Slice of £413m charity donation

As regular readers of our blog will know, here at YDMT we are very happy and grateful to receive ongoing support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, a charity lottery which donates 20 per cent of its profit to local charities… including us!

Novamedia/Postcode Lotteries, the parent company of People’s Postcode Lottery, has for the second year running, just been announced as the world’s third largest private charity donor, having awarded an amazing £413 million to charitable causes across the world in 2012.

So far, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised £301,332 for YDMT, helping us to support and deliver more projects than ever before, such as the conservation of threatened wildflower hay meadows and wetland habitats, the restoration of broadleaf woodlands, the provision of countryside management training programmes for young local people, and pioneering education and outreach work with local children as well as urban-based disadvantaged and disabled groups.

So, we’d like to say a special THANK YOU to all player of People’s Postcode Lottery for your vital support – we couldn’t do what we do without your support!

People's Postcode Lottery

Catching up with our friends at People’s Postcode Lottery

Yesterday I took the train to Edinburgh with Leah, a fellow member of the Fundrasing team, to visit our friends at People’s Postcode Lottery.

The purpose of our visit was to update the Postcode Lottery team with news of all the wonderful charitable work we’ve been able to get involved with across the Yorkshire Dales thanks to the ongoing support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.  …so far players have raised an amazing £225, 332 for YDMT!  We were delighted to find that the team were as excited by our recent acheivements as we are!

It was also a chance for us to catch up with the volunteering team that had travelled to the Yorkshire Dales to help us with some woodland management at Bolton Abbey just over a month ago (see our blog posted on 13 July for full details).  We were really chuffed to hear that the team had all really enjoyed it, and to discover that Annie (one of the volunteers) had even written a short account of her day out.  She’s very kindly agreed to let us share it with you now, so you can hear about the day straight from the horse’s mouth…

People's Postcode Lottery Volunteers

People’s Postcode Lottery Volunteers

The People’s Postcode Lottery Charity Team gathered at the office at 7:30am, ready for our 5hour journey down to the Yorkshire Dales.  Our destination: Bolton Abbey.

After a few rest stops and sandwiches we arrived in the scenic, very green surroundings of the Yorkshire Dales.

We met with the three man team who would be taking us on for the day, Sarah and David from YDMT, and Mark from Bolton Abbey.

The abbey was founded in 1154 and the foundations still stand today.  Originally built as a Priory it has withstood, though was abandoned, when attacks from Scottish Raiders in the 14th  century rendered it untenable.

After a few photos with the picturesque abbey in the background, YDMT took us on a lovely walk through the hills to a beautiful freshwater waterfall – to demonstrate to us how funding from the Postcode Lottery was helping natural conservation in the area.  David mentioned to us that they run programs allowing under privileged and disabled people from the surrounding districts to come out to this beautiful setting to experience for themselves life outside of inner cities, and the benefits of natural surroundings.  David tells us that it is often an emotional experience.

Paddling!

Paddling!

After our walk to the waterfall, we were put to good work!  We were given saws and instructed on the art of pruning.  Our aim: to remove any overly-vigorous specimens to maintain the overall balance (including to allow the population of juniper bushes – which, surprisingly, are native to the local area! –  to flourish).  Unfortunately, there was no gin on offer that day!

In the time we were there, we cleared a considerable amount of excess growth – our YDMT guides seemed very pleased with the work and have invited us back again for the lambing season next March – April.

It was a brilliant day out and as always was fantastic to see what some funding from Postcode Lottery can do for a local area!  I would definitely go back given the chance!

People’s Postcode Lottery volunteers help the Dales

We were joined by a team of volunteers from our friends at People’s Postcode Lottery who were keen to get their hands dirty giving us a helping hand with some woodland management work in the Valley of Desolation at Bolton Abbey – one of the many woodlands that we’ve helped to create across the Yorkshire Dales.

The Volunteer Team at Bolton Abbey

The Valley of Desolation is particularly interesting and unusual as the plantings have been designed as an educational resource, illustrating the succession of different types of woodland which are believed to have colonised this area naturally since the last Ice Age.  As well as tree planting, the supporters of YDMT helped to fund the replacement of a footbridge across the beck, footpath repairs and an information panel on this site in 1999.

Joining staff from YDMT and the Bolton Abbey estate were six members of the team from People’s Postcode Lottery – a charity lottery whose players have raised £225,332 for YDMT to date and over £18.6 million in total for charities in England, Scotland and Wales so far.

The team got to work in the ‘arctic tundra’ section, pruning any overly-vigorous specimens to maintain the balance of dwarf shrubs, grasses, mosses and lichens, with a scattering of trees.

Ready to get stuck in!

Annie Houston, Customer Experience Team Member at People’s Postcode Lottery, said “We were so excited by YDMT’s kind offer to journey to the Dales to see for ourselves the backdrop in which they conduct their work. We got our hands dirty, made friends with some of the local wildlife (some friendly ducks and a less-friendly-looking-frog) and helped encourage the local plant species to thrive. The day we spent with them was an absolute joy and we hope to make it back there very soon!”

The resident frog

Chris Lodge, YDMT Woodland Officer, said “Today was very unusual for the Trust – usually we specialise in planting trees, rather than pruning them to restrict growth!  But it’s all in the name of education, and it was great to be able to give the Bolton Abbey estate a hand with the ongoing work that is required to maintain this unique learning resource.  The team from People’s Postcode Lottery brought with them an incredible level of energy and enthusiasm, and together we made a dramatic impact in a short space of time.”

Unique projects like the Valley of Desolation wouldn’t be possible without the financial support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, so we’d like to say a big thank you to all the players for supporting the work of the Trust and for sharing our passion for the Yorkshire Dales.