Askrigg hay meadows

This week sees the start of the Flowers of the Dales Festival 2013, which brings together 130 wildflower-inspired events taking place across the Yorkshire Dales from March to November.

Events include guided walks, photography courses, cookery and craft events, children’s activities, bat walks and bumblebee talks, to name just a few. Many of the events offer a free day out for all the family and often a chance to learn something new. Locals and visitors alike are encouraged to get involved.

The events are run by a wide range of organisations and individuals, each an expert in their field, and offer a great insight into wildflower habitats. The Clapham–based charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) is co-ordinating the festival to bring together this series of fun and informative events designed to encourage people to explore and enjoy the Dales landscape and the glorious range of wildflower species which thrive here.

Now in its fifth year, more than 13,000 people have attended wildflower-inspired events, and the festival is growing in popularity each year.

Tanya St Pierre, Flowers of the Dales project officer at YDMT, said, “The Yorkshire Dales will be buzzing with a whole host of events this year, each offering a chance for people to experience and enjoy the glorious Dales landscape and appreciate the beautiful wildflowers. Here at the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, the Festival is one of our proudest achievements, encouraging thousands of people every year to get out and about in the Dales by promoting local events and organisations.”

Tanya added, “We would like to say a huge thank you to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, whose vital ongoing support has made the 2013 festival possible. We would also like to pay a special tribute to Mr Reynolds whose generous gift to us in his will helped make the festival possible this year and in 2012.”

The full festival programme is available online now – got to www.ydmt.org and click on Resources. Or to receive a copy by post  send an A5 stamped self-addressed envelope (36p postage) to Flowers of the Dales Festival, YDMT, Old Post Office, Main Street, Clapham LA2 8DP.  Free copies of the programme will also be available from visitor centres in the area in the coming weeks. Places are limited at some events, so you are asked to book early to avoid disappointment.

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