This is an archived press release
Wednesday 6 October 2004
6 October 2004
Children plant seeds of hope for hay meadows
Ashford Cub Scouts helped spread seeds of wild flowers in the grounds of Thornbridge Education Centre, Great Longstone, as part of the Peak District National Park Authority's Vision Project.
The Vision Project involves village communities in conservation tasks to enhance their own area. It has attracted schools, individuals, youth and community groups to help restore dry-stone walls, wetlands, dew ponds, woods and dalesides.
Ashford youngsters' efforts will help stem the dwindling of Britain's hay meadows - some 97 per cent have been lost since the 1930s, yet they can contain as many as 50 wildflower species such as hay rattle and ox-eye daisy, attracting wildlife such as skylark and chimney sweeper moth.
Conservation awareness officer Louise Valantine said: "Our aim is to conserve land that's already of high wildlife value and to link and extend these by restoring and creating more high-quality habitats.
"Involving local children and community groups in projects close to their villages means that they can keep going back and see the progress and the difference they have made."
Thornbridge, an outdoor activities centre for Sheffield's schools, is improving the environment in other ways too - the National Park Authority has helped arrange a Countryside Stewardship agreement with Defra to enhance pastures and meadows. The centre has planted numerous hedges and created a pond to attract wildlife.
Vision Project leads Fungi Forays
Youngsters and adult residents of Stoney Middleton went on Fungi Forays to learn about rare mushrooms and toadstools in their vicinity.
Staff from the Peak District National Park's Vision Project led village primary school pupils and other residents to discover autumn fungi in woods and grasslands around Coombs Dale. On hand was fungi expert and part-time ranger Kevin Gilfedder to explain their finds.
This year the Vision Project fired the imagination of well-dressers too, with Foolow and Stoney Middleton celebrating it in their flower-petal pictures.