CONSERVATIONISTS are welcoming visitors to the special hay meadows at Bowber Head Farm near Ravenstonedale up until July 12.

Two new walks have been set up by Cumbria Wildlife Trust through the meadows for visitors just for this period when they’ll be at their best.

Bowber Head Farm lies between Kirkby Stephen and Sedbergh and is renowned for its flower-rich hay meadows, which cover some 12 hectares (30 acres).

The meadows are as important as they are beautiful and a joy to experience.

They contain an exceptionally rare mix of flowers, such as wood crane’s-bill, melancholy thistle, great burnet, saw-wort and lady’s mantles.

These meadows are only found in Northern England and parts of Scotland. The trust is working with local farmers to bring the meadows back to top condition for wildlife, following a decline in the quality of the grasslands over the past 20 years.

Stephen Trotter, trust CEO, said: “They’re known locally as ‘herbie’ meadows due to the huge number of flowering herbs in them. Only 900 hectares of these upland hay meadows survive across the counties of northern England today. We acquired this land as part of our 30 by 30 target. We want to see 30 percent of land and sea to be protected for nature’s recovery by 2030.”