This is an archived press release
Tuesday 21 December 2004
21 December 2004
Children spread seeds for brighter future
A hay meadow will be blossoming with wild flowers in future years thanks to the efforts of Eyam schoolchildren.
The whole of Eyam CE Primary School - 56 pupils - turned out to sow wild flower seeds in a field near the village at Knouchley Farm.
The outing was organised by the Peak District National Park Authority's Vision Project, which involves residents in restoring and enhancing wildlife habitats in 12 parishes around Longstone Edge.
After scattering the seeds - mainly hay rattle and ox-eye daisy produced from a particularly flower-rich meadow near Stony Middleton - the children took part in games to help trample them into the soil.
Vision Project community officer Louise Valantine said: "It was delightful to see the whole school - even four-year-olds - helping to restore wildlife habitats in their area. We hope it will encourage them to be more aware of their natural environment in the future."
Knouchley Farm is managed in ways that encourage wildlife under a Countryside Stewardship agreement with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the field will be used for hay harvesting and grazing.
Hay meadow restoration is a significant aspect of the Vision Project since 76 per cent were lost in the National Park between the mid-1980s and 1990s - threatening the future not only of flowers, but birds including skylark and twite.
The loss of such brightly-coloured flowers also has a major impact on the appearance of the countryside, and on its heritage - hay meadows often being the oldest link with the past in many villages, even older than the church.