HUNDREDS of Craven schoolchildren from seven schools have been creating their own patch of wildflower meadow as part of Grassington Festival.

The schools each received two square metres of meadow turf in the spring and have been nurturing them as they have blossomed with flowers including ragged robin and pink campion, helping to inspire lessons in biology, art and history.

The children monitored the meadows with help from people from the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and also from Craven artist, Helen Peyton.

All of the seven mini-meadows will be planted in Grassington Town Square, ready for Friday’s start of Grassington Festival.

The project has been run jointly by the national park and the festival, with a £2,500 grant from the Arts Council. A guided ‘family meadow walk’ will take around Grassington on Saturday. Places can be booked on the Grassington Festival website.

Catherine Kemp, the national park’s education and events manager, said:“The dales are known and loved for flower-rich hay meadows, but such meadows have become scarce nationally. It’s vital that local children know this story so that they can get involved in the conservation of these precious habitats.

“All the children drew sketches of the wildflowers. Helen Peyton helped the children make prints from their sketches and will create artwork from these sketches which celebrates the beauty of the meadows and also acts as a memorial to the experiences of local people during the First World War. It will be well worth coming to Grassington during the festival to see it.”

After the festival, the turf will be taken from the town square and planted in the garden at Colvend, the national park’s offices in Grassington.

Some 282 children took part in the project from the schools: The Boyle and Petyt Primary School in Beamsley; Threshfield Primary School; Brooklands Community Special School; and the four schools of the Upper Wharfedale Primary Federation – Burnsall, Cracoe and Rylstone, Grassington and Kettlewell.