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Pedal for the pasture!

Tuesday 1st August 2017

L - R John Cave, Elias Thorpe and Rosie Holdsworth from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust complete their 140 mile charity bike ride

Conservation volunteers complete 140-mile cycle challenge in a day to help secure future of vital meadow habitat.

I really hope that our efforts encourage people to take action for the environment and support the bid to secure the future of Ashes Pasture

A group of young conservationists from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have tackled a 140-mile bike ride to support the charity’s Ashes Pasture appeal. The Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders, or TNLs, hope that their ride will raise funds to save an area of wildlife-rich grassland habitat from being sold on the open market.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders project is designed to inspire young people to value and take action for nature and this latest venture by the intrepid group is doing just that. TNL is one of 31 projects forming Our Bright Future which is a £33million programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

On 28th July the team set out from Ashes Pasture near Ribblehead, cycling east along the Way of the Roses towards their final destination, the Living Seas Centre at Flamborough on the east coast. The journey took around 15 hours in total, with time factored in for breaks and some inevitable moaning about uncomfortable bike seats!

TNL John Cave said: “I decided to do this ride to raise money for a cause I truly believe in. I’ve been a TNL with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for the last 10 months and it’s given me the opportunity to learn about the amazing and rare habitats you can find in Yorkshire and across the UK.

“A combination of urban development and changes in land use practices means that some of them are slipping away. As a young person, I think it’s important that these landscapes are preserved for my generation and beyond; to inspire younger people to connect with nature, we have to protect it. I really hope that our efforts encourage people to take action for the environment and support the bid to secure the future of Ashes Pasture.”

Public response to the Ashes Pasture appeal has been fantastic so far, with over £46,000 raised in a matter of weeks from individual donations, adding to the £36,000 already raised from charitable trusts and other sources. But the Trust needs over £175,000 to secure Ashes Pasture and a further 20 hectares of land around the existing site. The land has been purchased using a loan from the Esmée Fairburn Foundation, but will be put on the open market if the money is not repaid by 2018.

The additional 20 hectares incorporate a stunning upland hay meadow, now an exceptionally rare habitat due to devastating decline over the last century. Securing the land would ensure a bright future for site, creating a larger stepping stone between other local nature reserves and helping hundreds of species to flourish.

To donate to the appeal, please visit the Ashes Pasture Just Giving page or contact the Trust on 01904 659570.