The Flowers of the Dales Festival is well underway

PUBLISHED: 17:12 16 June 2015 | UPDATED: 17:12 16 June 2015

Delicate water avens, which are much tougher than they look

Delicate water avens, which are much tougher than they look

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Go wild in the country this summer with a fabulous festival of flowers

That ever-popular perennial, the Flowers of the Dales Festival, is back in full bloom offering an impressive display of more than 100 events celebrating the wonderful wildflowers of Yorkshire.

With everything from Go Wild weeks, craft and bio-blitz events to wildflower walks, talks and identification courses across the Dales until November, there really is something for everyone in this annual floral extravaganza co-ordinated by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT).

‘More than 23,000 people have enjoyed taking part in wildflower-themed events since our first festival in 2009,’ said Tanya St Pierre, YDMT’s Flowers of the Dales project officer. ‘As well as our customary range of wildflower walks, talks and children’s events, we’re very excited to be able to offer some more unusual activities this year, including conservation and volunteering opportunities, bio-blitz events, scything courses and a chance to spend an afternoon with Yorkshire shepherdess Amanda Owen enjoying one of her famous cream teas at Ravenseat farm.’

As one of the most important protected areas in the UK, the Yorkshire Dales is an ideal place to enjoy spending time relaxing in the great outdoors, with its iconic landscape, rich and diverse wildlife heritage, and an incredible number of nationally and internationally important habitats.

Since the 1980s, Europe has lost 70 per cent of its wildflowers, and here in the UK only three per cent of our wildflower hay meadows remain. The Flowers of the Dales Festival aims to celebrate the region’s wildflower-rich hay meadows and pastures, moorland fringes, open heather moorland, and limestone pavement and highlight their importance.

Not only are these habitats special in their own right, but they are also home to a wide range of wildlife, including many rare and nationally scarce species of wildflowers, grasses, insects, birds and small mammals.

‘I’d like to say a big thank you to the Linden Charitable Trust and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, whose vital ongoing support helps to make our festival possible,’ said Tanya. ‘We would also like to pay special tribute to Patricia Still, Kathleen Gray, Ann White, Evelyn Plowman and Deirdre Thacker whose generous legacies have provided vital support for our work.

‘And, of course, we’re also very grateful to all the like-minded organisations and passionate individuals who run the fantastic events that combine to make this annual celebration of our natural environment possible.’

The People’s Postcode Lottery has raised more than £575,000 for YDMT to date, enabling the team to run wonderful projects that bring people and the natural environment together, offering people from all walks of life a chance to get close to nature.

A free festival programme is available from National Park centres and other outlets across the Dales. It can also be viewed and downloaded at ydmt.org

To receive a printed copy, please send an A5 SAE to: Flowers of the Dales, YDMT, Main Street, Clapham, Via Lancaster, North Yorkshire LA2 8DP.

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