Wensleydale and Upper Swaledale are said to have the finest hay-meadows in the Yorkshire Dales and arguably England. In summer the fields are full of colours with over 130 species per field including melancholy thistle, red clover, globeflower. and wood crane's bill. The meadows are home to insects, bats and other mammals and the nesting sites for the Curlew, Yellow Wagtail and many other birds. The meadows are the result of long-term traditional management with the stock being removed at the start of the growing season. The hay crop is allowed to grow and not cut until late July when its left to dry and then baled and stored for winter feed. Click on the photograph for a larger image.