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Young Eco-Warriors Lend A Hand In Bainbridge
Rachael Alderson, Young Rangers officer at YDNPA, supervises ground preparations.
Green-fingered youngsters from Askrigg and Bainbridge Primary Schools have been helping to create a community wildflower meadow that can be enjoyed by both people and wildlife.

Members of the schools’ Eco-Warriors Club, aged 5-11, joined Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) at Bainbridge Quaker Meeting House to prepare the ground, sow seeds and plant young plug-plants.

The children planted native wildflower species including Yellow rattle, Devil’s-bit scabious and Ox-eye daisy to replicate a northern upland hay meadow – a habitat that was once common, but which has suffered severe decline since the 1950’s, becoming one of Europe’s most threatened habitats.

One young eco-warrior said:
“I liked raking the ground and planting Devil’s-bit scabious”, while another added: “I liked the whole experience of being there.”

Bainbridge Quaker Meeting House is one of the groups that YDMT has been supporting over the last 18 months through the project, helping to transform their existing meadow into a flower-rich wildlife haven.

It is part of the Meadow Links project led by local charity YDMT, which is helping community groups in and around the Yorkshire Dales to create and restore publically accessible wildflower hay meadows along ecological networks, to create fantastic habitats for pollinating insects and other wildlife.

Plug planting with Tanya St Pierre at Bainbridge Quaker Meeting House
Tanya St. Pierre, Meadow Links Project Officer at YDMT, said:
“It was great to get the children involved in helping to improve the natural environment around them, whilst learning about the importance of traditional wildflower hay meadows, and the new interpretation panel will help others to learn about the significance too.

"It’ll take time for this meadow to get established, but in future years I hope it will be full of flowers and buzzing with wildlife – a place that the children can return to and that the whole community and visitors to Bainbridge can enjoy.”

The meadows created through the project will be managed and maintained by community groups, guided by bespoke 10 year management plans produced by YDMT. It is hoped that, once established, these meadows can be used as a source of seed to facilitate more meadow restoration projects in the future.

Young Eco-warriors with the new interpretation panel at Bainbridge Quaker Meeting House
Jennie White, Meadow Links champion at the Bainbridge Meeting House, said:
“As Quakers we are committed to sustainability and caring for the environment and wildlife for future generations. We appreciate that the earth needs our attention, respect, love and care, so it has been a pleasure to be involved in this initiative to give the grounds of the Meeting House a new lease of life.”

Meadow Links is delivered by YDMT in partnership with the YDNPA ‘Parish Wildlife Project’, Buglife’s national ‘B-Lines’ project and Natural England. It is supported by funding from D’Oyley Carte, Banister Charitable Trust and John Spedan Lewis Foundation.

Young Eco-Warriors Lend A Hand In Bainbridge, 14th December 2017, 16:05 PM