Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Sunday, 4 April 2010 12:26 UK

Plea for historical hay meadow artefacts

Old agricultural scythe
Smallholder Wendy Nicholson is donating an old scythe

Farmers and smallholders across the North of England are being urged not to throw away old agricultural artefacts.

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Hay Time project is seeking items for an exhibition on the history of hay making.

It will feature photographs, farm diaries, clothing, hand tools or other related implements.

The AONB spans Cumbria, Northumberland, County Durham and Teesdale and features many flower-rich hay meadows.

The exhibition, which aims to increase people's knowledge and enjoyment of the habitat, will be held in Allendale, in partnership with Beamish Museum, in June.

A smaller, travelling version will then tour around community groups in the North Pennines area.

Depending on the owner's wishes, after the exhibition the objects can either be returned, or added to Beamish Museum's agricultural collections.

One local woman, who has already pledged to give a collection of old tools is conservationist and smallholder Wendy Nicholson from Sinderhope in Allendale.

She said: "I've always been interested in education and it's good to know that these hand tools will be used for that kind of purpose.

"They've been handed down through the generations from different farmers and it's nice to know they'll be in good hands now."

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