Where is this?

Hay Meadows at Muker

June 8, 2019

Muker is one of the idyllic small villages that sit at the head of Swaledale. The river goes nearby and the scenery is lovely but during the hay meadow season it is better still. The hay meadows are at their best in May and June.

The Walk

The Hay Meadows at Muker are probably the most dramatic example of flower rich fields in the country and are a bit of an unsung national treasure. Wild flowers in this concentration are a rarity in this country. They are the result of years of management from the local Dales farmers who cut the fields back at the end of June (usually), to provide fodder for their livestock during the winter. Encouraged by a number of local conservation groups such as the National Park and specifically the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, who work closely with the farmers involved, these fields are becoming more and more spectacular each year.

The 12 fields at Muker offer a wide range of wild flowers which include cat’s ear, wood crane’s bill, Lady’s mantle, pignut and the lovely melancholy thistle. Six of the fields have flagged paths, some are inaccessible but still viewable, whilst the first two are suitable for wheelchairs or pushchair visitors. From the fields I would suggest crossing the Upper Swale at the obvious footbridge, walking up the lovely valley before doubling back past the bridge for 1/2 a mile and then returning to Muker from the east.

Recommend

Visit the YDMT website  for a full and professional understanding of the Hay Meadows of the Dales.

Navigation Tips at Muker

The Hay Meadows at Muker are just to the north of the village and lie next to the River Swale.

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