This might sound like exaggeration to those who've never seen the Yorkshire Dales hay meadows in late May and June. Those who have enjoyed their rich, vibrant colours will now be nodding wisely in agreement with me.
So what's so special about the hay meadows at this time of year? For a start, over 95% of meadows in the UK have been lost over the last 50 years so any that remain are highly prized, for both their beauty and biodiversity. Some of the best hay meadows in the UK are to be found in the Yorkshire Dales. A carefully and traditionally managed hay meadow can support up to 120 different species of wildflowers and other plants, as well as many species of invertebrates, bats, mammals and birds.
It isn't just a simple case of letting the grass grow and being glad to see a few wildflowers among the grasses.
Not every field is suitable for a hay meadow. They need to be fertile, sheltered and flat enough to cut the hay. You can't make a good hay meadow in a year - some of the restored hay meadows in the Dales are the product of at least two decades of careful management.
The meadows are to be found in valley bottoms where the soil is deeper and richer. These fields are grazed by cattle for some of the year, adding manure to fertilise the soil. Then the stock is moved, often to higher ground, and the meadows are left to grow. Deciding when to cut the hay is a careful judgement. Farmers have to balance the growth of the crop with the reliability of the weather forecast. Hay has to be left to dry out in the fields so several dry days are necessary. Later cutting enables the wildflowers and grasses to set seeds and act as an important habitat, making the hay meadows ever richer.
It's thanks to a partnership between farmers, the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority called the Hay Time Project that we have such rich meadows here. The Flowers of the Dales Festival runs from March to October, celebrating the lush hay meadows with walks, courses and family activities.
Best places to see hay meadows
You can see lush hay meadows all around the Yorkshire Dales although some of the richest and best known are in and around Muker in Swaledale. Look for them near Askrigg in Wensleydale, around Yockenthwaite in Langstrothdale, and by Grassington in Wharfedale.
You can download some suggested walks around hay meadows from YDMT.