Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Thanks to National Lottery players it has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Fund

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To celebrate Hay Meadows Day this year Cumbria Wildlife Trust and The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership scheme ran a fantastic week long Hay Meadows Exhibition at Bowber Head Farm in Ravenstonedale. On display were historic hay time photographs, wildflower photographic images, films and memorabilia from the last 100 years. Guided walks, arts events and bee identification walks took place and people could walk through the glorious hay meadows at their leisure.

Bowber Head Farm has some outstanding examples of upland Hay Meadow and is particularly important for their high plant diversity. Bowber Head was owned by the Frankland family and “holistically” managed for several generations with no artificial inputs and has been left undamaged by agricultural intensification. In 2020 it was transferred to Cumbria Wildlife Trust in lieu of Inheritance Tax, as part of the settlement of the estate of Juliet Frankland who died in 2013.

Haytime images on display from the early 1900s include this one of Maud Frankland strewing or breaking out at High New House, Ravenstonedale. ‘Strewing’ was spreading out evenly the new mown hay with a forward and backward stroke of the rake. Maud was Raven, Helga and Noble’s Mother. It hard to imagine doing this sort of work in such a long dress!

Above: Bumble Bee identification walk and talk with expert Carol Edmondson, Bowland Hay time Officer.