Wildflower meadow © Paul Evans

A grant means a wildlife charity can restore and create wildflower-rich grasslands in Richmond which will help to create important links to the internationally important hay meadows of upper Swaledale.

Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust – is celebrating the news that it has received a funding boost from SITA Trust for the project.

Working in partnership with the National Trust and the Richmondshire Landscape Trust, Buglife will use the funding to restore around sixteen hectares of upland wildflower-rich meadow. The meadow restoration will increase the number and types of wildflowers providing food in the form of nectar and pollen for pollinating insects such as bumblebees and moths.

The project will concentrate on land around the River Swale and on the National Trust’s estate at Hudswell Woods. The project partners hope to get volunteers involved with planting, monitoring and surveying the insects and plants over the course of the next two years.

Paul Evans, Buglife B-Lines Officer said, “Over 97 per cent of wildflower-rich grassland has been lost in living memory and this has played a major part in dramatic declines to our native pollinators. Creating wildflower-rich grasslands in Richmond will provide essential home and food sources for pollinating insects and is a step towards reversing pollinator declines.”

A spokesman for the Richmondshire Landscape Trust said, “We are delighted to receive this funding to improve our meadows as this is something we have been working towards since the Richmondshire Landscape Trust was founded. Our volunteer members are looking forward to this partnership with Buglife over the next 18 months and anticipate a successful outcome which can be enjoyed by Richmond’s residents and visitors.’

Seb Mankelow, the National Trust’s Ranger at Hudswell Woods, also welcomed the news of the grant, saying, “This is a great boost for Hudswell Woods and will mean the restoration of two large areas of grassland between the woods and the river. There is a high level of public access and we are grateful for the solid support of all the people we have spoken to thus far.”

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