Hay meadows are one of our rarest habitats and a priority for conservation. Largely lost from the rest of the country, these meadows survive thanks to traditional farming practices, in particular the late cutting of the crop in July or August.
During spring and summer the array of colourful flowers and grasses in hay meadows not only make a wonderful sight but create important places for pollinators and other species, such as bats and birds, which feed and nest in them.
The Forest of Bowland has some of the best hay meadows in Lancashire and as such, the AONB is an important area for this stunning habitat. However, Bowland's species rich meadows are only a very small resource and have, therefore, been a focus for conservation and restoration since 2012.
To celebrate this special habitat, Festival Bowland 2018 is highlighting a series of events which have hay meadows as their inspiration!
Make your way to Be a Garden Maker in Wigglesworth on Saturday 30th June when Chris Moss will be demonstrating wire sculpting techniques and participants can sculpt their very own flowers to take home.
Join Wyre Coast and Countryside Service on Sunday 1st July for a meadow wildlife walk in lovely Over Wyresdale.
Celebrate National Meadow Day at Bell Sykes Farm in Slaidburn on Saturday 7th July where you can enjoy fields of flowers, traditional crafts, scything demonstrations and more.
Bring out your creative side with artist, Annie Coxey, on Sunday 8th July in Abbeystead as you make colourful flowers, gorgeous garlands and beautiful butterflies from felt.
Finally, Saturday 14th July offers a great chance to see the flowers at Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve on a walk with former Lancashire Wildlife Trust Reserves Manager, Phil Dykes.