A Flower-Filled Summer In Bowland

May 28, 2023

As you'd expect from Mag North - we've been working non-stop for you this weekend...and it's only Sunday.

Aside from Mersey Pink Gin's in HMS Defender's Ward Room yesterday (West Side) - and Fish and Chips today while loving a Martin Parr exhibition in Scarborough (East Side), we also stopped off for a brew with some mates yesterday in Barley, (almost the middle) - and want to ask: Have you seen the Hay Meadows this year?

If you haven't yet...you should!

A riot of colour and buzzing with life, Bowland's traditional hay meadows are always true havens during the summer months – but this year they are magnificent and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy them this season.

The Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership and Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust have joined forces once again - and there are a host of events designed to get people exploring and appreciating this rare and valuable habitat at the heart of Mag North country.

Bowland Hay Time Project Officer, Carol Edmondson, told us: "With these events we want to give people the chance to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of wildflowers; whether that's through experiencing a meadow at the height of the season, seeing traditional scything in action, getting creative with arts and crafts, or learning how to grow their own wildflower plants."

Carol's bang-on-trend - and across Bowland at the moment it's looking like a Zhukovsky painting.

There are a series of events kicking off on 9 June with a meadow inspiration walk at Gisburn Forest and continuing throughout the summer, including National Meadows Day and the Northern Scythe Festival (that's not a typo...it is the Northern Scythe Festival) over the first weekend of July, plus a second meadow walk and BioBlitz at the Crook o' Lune, Lancaster later that week.

A textile workshop, photography walk and a tutorial on how to grow your own plants and manage a mini meadow are also being planned as part of the programme, and information will be up soon on the Forest of Bowland AONBs site.

And Carol has more to say: "Here in Bowland we're lucky to have some of the last remaining upland hay meadows in the country thanks to the traditional practices being carried out on the farms where they're found. Helping people to discover such special places is a really enjoyable part of my role."

In an addition to the Festival Bowland programme, a Summer Dawn Chorus walk will be taking place on Saturday 10 June at Gisburn Forest. Starting at 5am the event will soak up the sounds of a waking woodland, before heading back to the Hub for coffee and croissants. Mag North will also be selling chilled energy drinks from a specially adapted Bergen during the walk. Maybe.

What's The Best Bergen/Shop In The North?

Full details and booking information for the Bowland Hay Time summer events and Summer Dawn Chorus morning will be available on the Festival Bowland calendar at Festival Bowland Events

The Hay Time project is being supported by the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme.