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Children help promote flower festival

Pupils from Giggleswick Primary School have been lending a hand to help local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) to create a display at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show that aims to inspire and promote people of all ages to explore and enjoy the wildflowers and nature of the Yorkshire Dales.

The design is inspired by the charity’s Flowers of the Dales Festival, which brings together more than 100 events each year across the Yorkshire Dales. Events are led by passionate experts and enthusiasts, and range from practical conservation and species identification days, to guided walks, informative talks and family-friendly nature activities.

Art and craft activities also feature in the Festival, and members of the lunch-time art club at Giggleswick Primary School have been getting creative with Anthea Hanson, YDMT’s Schools Out project officer, to make colourful artwork inspired by local wildlife. The youngsters crafted a papier-mâché owl, curlew and hare, as well as hand-felted swallow’s nests and painted pebble ladybirds to help bring the display to life.

Eight-year-old Isobel, said: “My favourite thing was making the swallow’s nest out of felt – it looks just like the ones my Uncle has in his barn.”

YDMT’s Flowers of the Dales project officer, Leah Galloway, said: “Through the Festival we aim to encourage people of all ages to discover the wonderful wildflowers of the Yorkshire Dales, and to gain a better understanding of the careful management required to ensure that this special place can be enjoyed by wildlife and people in years to come. The Festival is now in its tenth year and more than 37,000 people have taken part so far. I hope that our display at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show will bring the Festival to the attention of even more people this year.”

The display also features a selection of wildflowers native to the Yorkshire Dales, and a mini dry stone wall built by Chris Myers; a YDMT ambassador, RHS Gold Medal-winning designer, TV presenter and off-grid gardener from Yorkshire.

Chris said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to support YDMT with this project to help raise awareness of the Festival and the incredible natural environment on our doorstep. Dry stone walls are an iconic part of the Dales landscape, and their nooks, crannies, mosses and lichens make them a fantastic habitat in their own right. I’ve used weathered stones from the Yorkshire Dales to create an authentic mini dry stone wall on the plot.”

Before returning it to the Dales, Chris will re-use the stone at the prestigious RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in June, when he will team up with YDMT once again to bring a celebration of the Yorkshire Dales to an international audience with his ambitious Show Garden entitled ‘Hay Time in the Dales’.

The Flowers of the Dales Festival programme can be downloaded at www.ydmt.org/Festival-2018, or to receive a printed copy send an A5 stamped self-addressed envelope to Flowers of the Dales Festival, YDMT, Main Street, Clapham, Via Lancaster, LA2 8DP.

The Flowers of the Dales Festival is one of the initiatives supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have raised £1,626,332 for YDMT since 2009.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “Each year thousands of people take part in the Flowers of the Dales Festival. The events offer a chance for people of all ages to explore the beautiful Yorkshire Dales countryside whilst perhaps learning something new. I hope that visitors to the Harrogate Spring Flower Show will be inspired to get involved this year.”

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