CUMBRIA Wildlife Trust has praised the hundreds of volunteers who worked to help with hay meadow restoration in 2013.

A staggering 13,000 wildflower plug plants were planted in just 18 days last year – with 19 students from the University of Cumbria planting 1,700 of them.

The charity identified the ‘sorry state’ of hay meadows in Cumbria in 2005, finding that just 20 per cent of wildlife sites identified in the 1980s were still intact. Since then it has restored 150 hectares of meadow to its full glory.

Claire Cornish, meadow life restoration officer, said: “It makes a real difference to us having teams of folk willing to come out and work with us on these meadows.

“One of our highlights of the year was restoring Cumbria’s Carsa Brow in Orton. Green hay was spread from our first Coronation Meadow at Piper Hole in Ravenstonedale by volunteers at the end of July.”

To get involved, call Claire Green on 01539 816300 or email claireg@ .