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grough – New shorts help visitors to Westmorland Dales identify meadow wildflowers

Bob smith, Editor
Thursday August 13, 2020 15:54 GMT
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Films Help Outdoor Enthusiasts Identify Common Meadow Flowers

Can you distinguish a melancholy thistle from a common knapweed?

Would you be able to identify the red clover or the yellow rattle?

Help is at hand. A series of short films produced by photographer and filmmaker Jon Chappell details the most common grassland wildflowers found in the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Teams from Westmorland Dales and Cumbria Wildlife Trust partnered with Mr. Chappell to create the informative videos to help visitors name the different flora found in the area in summer.

A spokesperson for the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Program said: “The Westmorland Dales are home to some of the best flower-rich meadows and verges in Cumbria, with a stunning array of wildflowers on display in June and July in particular.

“But outside of our daily walks during the lockdown, we may have missed the opportunity to take advantage of them and, if we did, we may not know all of their names.

“Detailed close-up images of the wildflowers were captured at locations near Ravenstonedale in the dramatic meadows of Bowberhead and Piper Hole Farms. The work is part of a conservation project for meadows, meadows and shoulders rich in species.

There are 20 movies, 19 featuring individual prairie wildflowers and one combining all of the footage.

Nicola Estill, Community Engagement Officer with the Westmorland Dales and Friends of the Lake District team, said: “We were really disappointed that National Meadows Day could not take place this year.

“So we thought, why not produce a series of movies to capture all of those wildflowers when they were at their best?” Fortunately, we had local talent at our disposal and brought in Jon Chappell to work his magic.

Mr. Chappell said: “I have always enjoyed filming wildlife. I did some work for the BBC’s Natural History Unit and am fascinated by the behind-the-scenes sections of Blue Planet and other epic nature shows. Filming flowers or animals in Cumbria involves the same technical challenges as filming for the NHU, but it’s nice to be close to home.

Christa Nelson of Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “Nationally these grasslands have shrunk by 97% over the past 50 years, but here we strive to conserve them for everyone’s enjoyment. We have walked the meadows with volunteers and restored them with local farmers and landowners, but it’s great to be able to share this work more widely.

The Westmorland Dales include the areas incorporated into the Yorkshire Dales National Park when it was expanded north and west in 2016.

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership includes Friends of the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Natural England, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Cumbria County Council, Woodland Trust, Cumbria Geoconservation, Eden District Council, Lunesdale Archaeological Society, Farmer Network, Eden Rivers Trust, the Country Land and Business Association, the National Farmers Union, the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and Electricity North West.

The films can be viewed on the Friends of the Lake District website.


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