HEREFORDSHIRE MEADOWS SUPPORTING 20 LOCAL FARMERS TO RESTORE 52 ha of MEADOWS this summer

Herefordshire Meadows seed harvesting team at Joan’s Hill Farm, Woolhope L to R Matt Cobb, Paul Wright, Ian Tanner (Woolhope Dome Environmental Trust), Sue Holland and James Hawkins (Herefordshire Meadows chairman).

Herefordshire Meadows members are involved in a meadow making initiative on local farms, smallholdings, estates and public spaces to restore over 52 ha of wildflower meadows. Caroline Hanks who co-ordinates the group is delighted that “after working together for 3 years we are now able to support more of our members to make meadows by broadcasting brush harvested seed, strewing green hay or purchasing native wildflower seed”.

“This meadow making initiative has been made possible with support from Plantlife, Natural England and The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund and is a is a fantastic opportunity to create flower rich habitat on local farms.  Wildflower meadows boost the Natural Capital of the land through increased sward diversity, not to mention all the benefits for wildlife including pollinators, soils and water and the local landscape plus the sheer joy of being surrounded by the buzz of a meadow”.

Local charity Woolhope Dome Envrionment Trust have generously supported Herefordshire Meadows with a grant of almost £10,000 for equipment to set up a brush seed harvesting service in Herefordshire. The team (pictured above) were out in Woolhope last week collecting seed from Plantlife’s Coronation Meadow at Joan’s Hill Farm.  It will be used to create two new Coronation Meadows in Pembridge and Avenbury.

Other Herefordshire Meadows farmers in the pilot are re-creating floodplain meadows, enhancing permanent and temporary grassland or creating wildflower meadows on arable land across the County. James Hawkins, who farms at Bringsty, chairs Herefordshire Meadows, and points out “the group unites meadow managers interested in conserving wildflower meadows and also promotes their value as part of a productive farm business. We welcome anyone looking to profit from native grasslands and diverse herbal leys”. For more information about the group visit www.herefordshiremeadows.org.uk.

Brush harvester in action at Woolhope

Weighing seed before drying

Herefordshire Meadows seed harvesting team at Joan’s Hill Farm, Woolhope L to R Matt Cobb, Paul Wright, Caroline Hanks, Sue Holland and James Hawkins (Herefordshire Meadows chairman).

For more information contact Caroline Hanks 07779 080940 caroline.hanks@farming4wildlife.co.uk  and Sue Holland fsgarratt@btinternet.com 01873 860339.