Your chance to visit Bowber Head Farm meadows

Your chance to visit Bowber Head Farm meadows

Come along to a special opening of the flower-filled meadows at our newest nature reserve
Image of meadows at Bowberhead Farm

Bowber Head Farm © Cumbria Wildlife Trust 

We're welcoming visitors to the special hay meadows at Bowber Head Farm near Ravenstonedale from 24 June to 12 July.  Two new walks through the meadows have been opened up just for this three week period, when they’ll be at their best. You’re invited to come along, take a leaflet and enjoy a self-directed tour of this lovely nature reserve.

Bowber Head Farm lies between Kirkby Stephen and Sedbergh and is renowned for its flower-rich hay meadows, which cover some 12 hectares (30 acres). The meadows are as important as they are beautiful and a joy to experience. They contain an exceptionally rare mix of flowers, such as wood crane’s-bill, melancholy thistle, great burnet, saw-wort and lady’s mantles. These meadows are only found in Northern England and parts of Scotland. The Trust is working with local farmers to bring the meadows back to top condition for wildlife, following a decline in the quality of the grasslands over the last 20 years.

Stephen Trotter, CEO of Cumbria Wildlife Trust tells us more about these special meadows: “They’re known locally as ‘herbie’ meadows due to the huge number of flowering herbs in them, such as wood crane’s-bill, greater burnet and lady’s mantles. Only 900 hectares of these upland hay meadows survive across the counties of northern England today. We acquired this land as part of our 30 by 30 target. We want to see 30% of land and sea to be protected for nature’s recovery by 2030.  

Stephen continues: “Sadly, over the last 50 years species-rich hay meadows have declined by 97%. Our work at Bowber Head Farm will ensure that these meadows remain safe and secure, as we focus on restoring the meadows back to being the very best. Northern hay meadows like these are important for the wealth of plants they support. We estimate there are as many as 208 plant species here! These plants can provide food for bees and pollinators and many different animals, including the brown hare, skylark, curlew, lapwing and twite. We look forward to welcoming visitors in the coming weeks and telling them more about this important habitat and why we’re saving it.”

Directions to Bowber Head Farm  We request that all visitors please park with care, ensuring that the road isn't blocked for passing buses and coaches.

Bowber Head Farm was transferred to Cumbria Wildlife Trust in 2020. The meadows are scheduled as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Entry to the meadows is free – please donate if you can.