Two events aiming to boost the income of farmers with traditionally managed hay meadows are being run in July. The free events will look at harvesting the seed from good quality meadows to use in meadow restoration projects, with farmers being paid for the seed taken from their meadows. The events include a practical demonstration of a machine developed by a farmer that harvests the seed but leaves most of the vegetation standing for a normal hay cut, meaning that farmers are effectively getting two products from the meadow and therefore generating additional income. The events, being organised by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, are in Ribblesdale on Wednesday 13 July and Swaledale on Thursday 14 July.
Don Gamble, project officer at the Trust, said "The demand for locally collected hay meadow seed to use in meadow restoration projects is likely to increase over the next few years. Potentially, farmers with good quality meadows can sell the harvested seed or hay to farmers wanting to restore their meadows to a more diverse condition, and agri-environment schemes could provide the funding for this to happen'.
Each event is for up to thirty people, with most places reserved for farmers. The events are aimed at farmers with good quality meadows and farmers interested in restoring meadows. Some places will also be available for contractors interested in undertaking the work and organisations involved in meadow restoration projects. Entry and lunch are free but booking is essential. To book a place or for further details contact Don Gamble, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, on 015242 51002. Places need to be booked by Monday 11 July.