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Hay there!

First flowers on the hay meadow at River View holiday cottage, Yorkshire Dales

The field in front of the cottage is prettying up with wildflowers this month. Meadow buttercup, cuckoo flower and sweet vernal grass intersperse with wild sorrel and the less romantic sounding pignut to form species-rich grazing for our local livestock. It's all part of a plan to restore the field to a traditional hay meadow, which will be harvested in mid-June.

We'll need sheep and cattle to graze off the land before and after so that the hay and wildflower seeds are not swamped by grass. Then we'll be out with a bagful of other species in the late autumn. Meadowsweet, marsh marigold and meadow vetchling in yellow and white; selfheal, clover, and knapweed in pinks and purples.

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