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Transylvanian connection for Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust
10:00am Saturday 29th September 2012 in News
Craven conservation charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) has forged links with hay meadow experts in Transylvania.
Sarah Robinson, Bowland Hay Time Project Officer at YDMT, spent a week living and working with the Sarig family in the Gyimes Valley region of Transylvania, along with 10 other delegates from the UK.
As well as exchanging information and sharing hay time experiences, the group gained experience in all aspects of hay making, from start (scything) to finish (putting the hay in the barns to store as winter forage).
Thanks to the extra manpower, the Sarig family was able to cut a previously abandoned meadow.
Sarah said: “It was very physically demanding work, but really rewarding - particularly when we helped to save meadows that the family had not had the manpower to tackle previously. It was fascinating to experience a completely different culture and to see how the techniques used here have evolved very differently to those used back home.
“I think our use of machinery in the UK surprised our hosts, who still use a combination of man and horse power to get the job done, whilst I was quite jealous to discover that the warmer climate in Transylvania means that our counterparts can scythe in the morning, enjoy an al fresco lunch break, and then gather the dry crop in the afternoon, rather than hoping and praying for several dry days like we do here in northern England!”
To ensure that the hay meadow experts can continue to exchange information, a web-based network is being created. The visit was part of the Sowing the Seeds project which is run by YDMT and funded through the Yorkshire Dales LEADER programme.
Rima Berry, LEADER project co-ordinator for the Yorkshire Dales, said: “I am delighted this international link has been established between our Dales and Transylvania and I believe the exchange will benefit both areas in the future.”