Meadow Connections

News > Meadow Connections


Date of issue: 5 June 2017

A new festival will bring people together to enjoy and learn about the beautiful upland hay meadows of the Yorkshire Dales, helping ensure they are protected and celebrated for generations to come.

Set in a beautiful spot at Lower Winskill Farm near Settle, the Meadow Connections festival comprises a range of activities over three days, offering the chance to learn new skills and crafts such as scything, drawing, pottery and natural bee keeping, as well as enjoying a traditional ceilidh and feast night.

The event kicks off on Friday 7 July with a two-day ‘Learn to Scythe’ course covering how to mow with, sharpen and maintain a scythe safely and effectively, led by internationally recognised scything expert Steve Tomlin.

Various half-day workshops are available on Saturday 8 July, including; Natural bee keeping with John Vendy; Flora and fauna identification with Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust’s wildflower expert Tanya St. Pierre; Enamelled jewellery making with local craftswoman Emily Knight; Drawing with nationally renowned Settle-based artist Margaret Uttley; Coil pot making and pit firing with Ken Jaquiery; and Herbal walks and talks with Helen Rideout and Heather Ware.

It is Open Farm day on Sunday 9 July, with informal talks from farm owner Tom Lord and a chance for visitors to get stuck in helping turn, stack and bring in the hay (weather permitting).The weekend will be rounded off with the 2017 Northern Scythe Championships, which will see competitors from across the region demonstrating their skills as they compete for the title.

Ruth Pullan, Meadow Connections organizer, said: “We hope to help people engage with the ancient hay meadows of the Yorkshire Dales – a precious habitat that is becoming increasingly rare. This festival is the first of hopefully many such celebrations and gatherings in the years to come. With camping, delicious local food and a range of activities on offer, we’re looking forward welcoming people of all ages to come and make fond memories for the future.”

Meadow Connections is one of 120 events that make up the 2017 Flowers of the Dales Festival which celebrates the region’s special wildflowers and natural environment. Other events include guided walks and bumblebee talks, family-friendly nature trails and bug hunts, identification courses, hands-on conservation activities, arts and crafts, and much more.

The Flowers of the Dales Festival is coordinated by local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, sponsored by Parkfoot Holiday & Park Homes, Ingleton and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

YDMT’s Flowers of the Dales Project Officer, Leah Cardus, said: “Meadow Connections is a great example of an event that will give people the chance to learn something new and gain a greater appreciation of the special Yorkshire Dales landscape and the wildlife that thrives here, which is exactly what the annual Flowers of the Dales Festival is all about.”

The full Festival programme can be downloaded via the link below. Or to receive a printed copy please send an A5 stamped and self-addressed envelope to: Flowers of the Dales, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, Main Street, Clapham, Via Lancaster, LA2 8DP.

Meadow Connections tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance by 30 June. Prices vary depending on the activity. For further details please visit, email or call Ruth Pullan on 07951 399176.

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