Lancashire Environmental Fund
The AONB worked jointly with Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust to develop a bid to Lancashire Environmental Fund called Bowland Haytime Rescue, which continues the hay meadow restoration work established back in 2012. This project focuses on collecting seed and propagating late-flowering species by volunteers to be planted out at selected meadows, alongside continuation field-scale hay meadow restoration. A new project officer, Carol Edmondson, was recruited by YDMT (working in the AONB office) to deliver the project over 14 months to October 2019.
By April 2019 seed of 5 scarce hay meadow species were collected and propagated, with seed added to the collection at Kew Millennium seed bank, Wakehurst, and further plug plants being produced by Kew from seed collected in Bowland. These plug plants will be planted in appropriate hay meadows and roadside verges for enhancement
This project aims to identify a minimum of 3 threatened hay meadow species; propagate & bolster species numbers in their historic locations through plug planting.
Working with LERN and Lancashire Botany Group on historic records of floral species, and previously identified declining species; 5 suitable species were identified: Globe flower, melancholy thistle, bird's eye primrose, saw wort and dyers' greenweed. These are species with a sustainable source for seed collection within the Forest of Bowland.
The seed has been propagated by volunteers with a view to planting plug plants out by September 2019.
W4M is a 12 month project funded by Lancashire Environmental Fund in which 6 community groups are being supported with funding, training and on-site support to become proficient in the production of plug plants for the meadow sites they are looking forward. The project is also producing 4 instructional films as a legacy product to ensure that training material can be accessed into the future. The groups supported are: Lancaster Beekeepers Community Pollinator Patch Group; Slaidburn Guides; St James' school, Clitheroe; Friends of Spring Wood; Friends of Beacon Fell; Chipping in Bloom.
This project helped community groups learn how to grow their own late flowering meadow species plug plants, which they then planted out into their chosen meadows. The groups involved were Chipping in Bloom (Chipping Community Garden site), Friends of Spring Wood (Spring Wood meadow), Friends of Beacon Fell (Beacon Fell meadow), St James' School, Clitheroe (Stephen Park), Lune Valley Community Beekeepers (Life for a Life meadow). We produced instructional videos to show how to collect, store, germinate and grow seed into plug plants, and training groups in scything, purchasing kit to allow them to manage their meadows.
Plans have been produced for Greater Butterfly orchid, Globeflower and Juniper.
All three plans are underway.
The Bowland Hay Time project has restored 35 ha of meadows during 2014 & 2015. This has been possible through partnership working with the N4N project, LEF, the Coronation Meadows project, NE and YDMT. We used green hay and brush harvested seed, as well as plug planting on several sites.
In 2016 we restored 20 ha with a further 11ha in 2017, all using green hay, brush harvested and vacuumed seed. Sites included SSSIs (New Ings and Tarnbrook) in need of seed addition.
In 2018 a further 3 meadows of feild scale restoration were completed through Bowland Haytime
The N4N project aimed to help create a living network of nectar hubs for bees and other pollinating invertebrates across the AONB by creating small patches of species rich grassland and corn field annual patches, mainly on non-farmed land such as in school grounds, businesses and community spaces.
The project created 25 nectar patches, 7 mini-meadows and worked at a field scale to restore 35 ha of meadows as well. The project worked with 10 community groups, 6 private landowners, 10 businesses and 5 schools. We organised 12 public events, attracting 170 people.
|Action||Targets and Timescales||Partners|
|1.3F||Conserve, restore and create species-rich grassland habitats||
Jointly deliver 'Networks for Nectar' project with YDMT (funded by LEF to end Sep 2015)
Restore 10ha. of hay meadow
Restore and ensure management of 12 small species-rich grassland sites