A hay meadow at Ravenstonedale given to Cumbria Wildlife Trust in the will of former member and trustee Margaret Albon, of Kirkby Stephen, along with money to pay for its management, will form part of a new nature reserve.
The nature reserve is at Bowberhead Farm, which was recently transferred to the care of the wildlife trust, and the meadow lies just a short distance away.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “Margaret sadly died in 2019 and it is with great thanks and gratitude that the trust has accepted the gift of a hay meadow at Ravenstonedale through her will, with a cash gift for its ongoing management.
“The meadow sits just a couple of fields away from Bowberhead Farm, so will now become part of the new Bowberhead nature reserve. Margaret’s Meadow will continue to be restored for wildlife and will serve as the fitting legacy that she wished it to be.”
During the summer months, Margaret’s Meadow — like the fields at Bowberhead Farm — will be full of northern specialities like wood crane’s-bill, melancholy thistle, great burnet, saw-wort and lady’s mantles.
These types of meadow have become rare in Cumbria and northern England, so the trust is delighted to take on the task of looking after and protecting this part of our living heritage.
In 2017, Margaret wrote in her will: “My late husband and I bought seven acres of hay meadow almost a decade ago, which we have managed in the old-fashioned way, in the hope that it will revert to being more species-rich. Cumbria Wildlife Trust has helped with one of the two fields by providing plug plants, spot spraying and liming.
“The decision to give something back to Cumbria Wildlife Trust through a gift in my will was an easy one. I am comforted to know my gift will be looked after by the trust for years to come and will benefit wildlife long after I am gone.”