AFTER wowing judges and visitors at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, the ‘Hay Time in the Dales’ garden is set to impress again, this time on home turf.

Designed and built by Chris Myers to raise awareness of the work of local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT), the garden was a picture-postcard representation of life in the Dales.

It showcased some of the area’s iconic sights and fantastic wildlife habitats, including a traditional hay meadow full of native wildflowers, as well as a converted barn, mini broadleaved woodland and dry stone wall.

After securing a silver medal from the RHS judges, the garden went on to win the coveted People’s Choice Award, and now elements of the garden will be given a new lease of life in the Yorkshire Dales.

Many of the plants from the garden will be given a permanent home in school grounds through YDMT’s Green Futures project, which is part of Our Bright Future and supported by National Lottery players through the Big Lottery Fund. Pupils will have the chance to get close to nature and develop their horticulture skills as they help to plant a selection of native hedgerow species and pollinator-friendly flowers donated from the award-winning garden.

The mini wildflower hay meadow went on public display at the recent Grassington Festival, helping to highlight the urgent need to support organisations such as YDMT in their ongoing efforts to save these precious habitats and the wildlife they support, before it is too late.

Mr Myers said: “It was a real honour to represent the Yorkshire Dales and the work of YDMT at this year’s RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Of course I wanted to create something beautiful, but as an ambassador for YDMT, I was also keen to highlight the charity’s important work. Wildflower hay meadows are a real passion for me, but sadly we’ve lost 97 per cent of our traditional hay meadows since the 1950s. Now they’re one of the most threatened habitats in the UK, but YDMT’s Hay Time project is making a real difference, helping to save these precious habitats and the wildlife they support. Visitors really seemed to engage with the garden, and winning the People’s Choice Award was the icing on the cake.”

Through the Hay Time project, YDMT is working with farmers and landowners across the Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland to help to bring these iconic habitats back from the brink. Locally-harvested wildflower seed has been added to more than 700 hectares so far, and traditional low-intensity management has been reinstated to help bring back native wildflowers and provide a vital habitat for the many rare species of wildlife they support.

YDMT’s Chief Executive, David Sharrod, said: “The garden perfectly captured the very best of the Dales, so we were thrilled for Chris and his team when the People’s Choice Award was announced. It is fantastic to see plants from the show now getting a new lease of life after Chatsworth, and helping even more people to enjoy nature and learn about wildflower hay meadows here in the Yorkshire Dales.”

With National Meadows day just around the corner (7 July), this is a great time to enjoy the natural beauty of wildflower hay meadows. The ongoing hot, dry weather has meant that many wildflowers are producing seed a bit earlier than usual, but it is still well worth a visit to your local hay meadow. Walk guides can be downloaded at, where you can also find out how to support the Hay Time project.

The ‘Hay Time in the Dales’ garden was created by Chris Myers Design with support from Creations & Installations, Johnsons of Whixley, Barcham Trees and Gordon Simpson.