FUNDING of more than £712,000 has been awarded to a partnership programme with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust(YDMT) to create wildflower meadows on a large scale.

The money is part of the government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund which will aim to reverse the alarming decline that has seen 97 per cent of meadows eradicated and the remaining three per cent teetering on the brink of extinction.

The YDMT will work with the Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership.

Sarah Robinson Forest of Bowland AONB Farming and Wildlife Officer said: “We’re very excited by this news of a grant ward to the Meadow Makers project. The grant will help us to continue the joint project delivery in the Forest of Bowland into a tenth ‘Hay Time’ season; working alongside Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust to restore and enhance upland hay meadows and species rich grassland.”

The wide-scale meadows restoration initiative will provide a prime platform for wildflowers and wildlife to make a stunning recovery in Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Sussex, Herefordshire, Lancashire, and Wiltshire.

Plantlife joins forces with the Arnside and Silverdale and High Weald AONBs, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Duchy of Cornwall, Herefordshire Meadows, Moor Meadows and Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust to turbo power meadows recovery.

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change.

The fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

The government’s forthcoming Environment Bill puts the environment at the centre of policy making.

The fund is supporting a range of nature conservation and recovery and nature-based solutions projects, which will contribute towards government’s wider 25 Year Environment Plan commitments.