The films help outdoor enthusiasts identify common meadow flowers

The films help outdoor enthusiasts identify common meadow flowers

Can you tell a melancholy thistle from a common knapweed?

Would you be able to identify red clover or yellow rattle?

Help is at hand. A series of short films produced by photographer and film-maker Jon Chappell details the most common meadow wild flowers found in the northern reaches of the Yorkshire Dales national park.

The Westmorland Dales and Cumbria Wildlife Trust teams have joined up with Mr Chappell to create the informative videos to help visitors name the various flora found in the area in summer.

A spokesperson for the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme said: “The Westmorland Dales is home to some of the best flower rich meadows and verges in Cumbria, with a stunning array of wild flowers on display in June and July in particular.

“But apart from our daily walks during lockdown we may have missed the chance to enjoy them and, if we did, may not be familiar with all of their names.

“Detailed close-up footage of the wildflowers has been captured at locations near Ravenstonedale in the spectacular meadows of Bowberhead and Piper Hole farms. The work forms part of a project to conserve species-rich meadows, grasslands and verges.”

There are 20 films, 19 featuring individual meadow wildflowers and one combining all of the footage.

Nicola Estill, community engagement officer with the Westmorland Dales team and Friends of the Lake District said: “We were really disappointed that National Meadows Day couldn’t take place this year.

“So we thought, why not produce a series of films to capture all these wild flowers when they were at their best? Luckily, we had local talent at our disposal and called on Jon Chappell to work his magic.”

Mr Chappell said: “I have always enjoyed filming wildlife. I did a few jobs for the BBC Natural History Unit and I’m fascinated by the behind-the-scenes sections of Blue Planet and other such epic nature shows. Filming flowers or animals in Cumbria involves the same technical challenges as filming for the NHU but it’s nice to be close to home.”

Christa Nelson from Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “Nationally these meadows have declined by 97 per cent over the last 50 years but here were working to conserve them for all to enjoy. We’ve been surveying meadows with volunteers and restoring them with local famers and landowners, but it’s great to be able to share that work more widely.”

The Westmorland Dales include the areas incorporated into the Yorkshire Dales national park when it was enlarged northwards and westwards in 2016.

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership comprises the Friends of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Natural England, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Cumbria County Council, the Woodland Trust, Cumbria Geoconservation, Eden District Council, the Lunesdale Archaeological Society, the Farmer Network, Eden Rivers Trust, the Country Land and Business Association, the National Farmers Union, the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and Electricity North West.

The films can be viewed on the Friends of the Lake District website.