Herefordshire Meadows April Newsletter

In March we saw the first gradual easing of restrictions and the emergence of lots of little yellow rattle seedlings. Both heralded hope for better times to come. Our aspiration is to gradually start holding in person events and training as restrictions ease further. However, the ability to join online webinars has demonstrated how digital technology can make a wealth of information accessible to a much wider audience. Recognising this, the team at Herefordshire Meadows wants to strengthen and build our digital presence to support all your work in the field, and to do this we are asking for help in completing a short communications survey. Find out more about this and talks and news from the past month below:


Upcoming events:

Thursday 8th April 5.00 – 6.00pm

Better together: how facilitation groups are transforming nature recovery’

A discussion on how the collaborative approach adopted by Farmer Facilitation Groups around the country is leading to impressive results on the ground with case studies from three different Facilitation Groups including Herefordshire Meadows

Book your free ticket here.



Wednesday 21 April 6.00 – 7.00pm

Principles of Creating Flower Rich Meadows’ with Caroline Hanks and Sue Holland

Caroline Hanks and Sue Holland will share their experience and answer questions on the principles of meadow creation and restoration. Topics covered will include; what to think about when planning plus some of the restoration methods Herefordshire Meadows’ members have used in recent years.

This is for anyone who’s new to meadow creation and restoration, including those in the 2021 Meadow Makers project or those planning restorations in future years.


You will be sent the Zoom link shortly before the webinar for further details please visit our website.


Wednesday 5th May 6-7pm

A Smallholders Experience of Machinery for Flower Rich Meadows’ with Tim Daniels

Tim Daniels will give us a presentation about his 5.5-acre flower rich smallholding in Newton St. Margarets. This talk is for any smallholder who’s wondering about the cost-benefits of purchasing their own machinery as opposed to setting up a machinery share with neighbours or outsourcing to local contractors instead.


You will be sent the Zoom link shortly before the webinar for further details please visit our website.


Herefordshire Meadows Communications Survey

The past year has shown more than ever how having a range of different means of communication is crucial to ensuring that information is accessible for all. While we are relishing the prospect of getting out and about and leading in person events and training again, as Herefordshire Meadows grows we also want to strengthen our digital outreach. To this end we would greatly appreciate your support in filling in the following communication survey. It should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.  We’d love to hear your views before April 21st please.

Meadow Makers Project:

New Meadow Maker Trainee to start on 19th April

We are very pleased to announce that after a very competitive selection process, Maya Broadbank was successfully selected to join the Herefordshire Meadows team as our Plantlife Meadow Maker Trainee. Maya, who is due to start her 6-month traineeship on Monday 19th April, is a recent Cardiff University Biological Sciences graduate and is based locally. Maya is very much looking forward to joining the team, meeting Herefordshire Meadows’ members and assisting with the wide range of activities we have planned in the coming months.


Listen/ Watch/ Read again:

 Utilising Native Breeds for Conservation and Regenerative Grazing’ with Tom Blunt

On 9th March Tom Blunt, from the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) gave a comprehensive overview of the role that native rare breeds can play in conservation and regenerative grazing systems. The slides from the presentation can be found here.

What’s new in Countryside Stewardship for 2022 and are you eligible for GS6?’ with Lucinda Lewis and Sue Holland

On 3rd March Lucinda Lewis of the Wye and Usk Foundation gave an overview of the several important changes to Countryside Stewardship in 2022. You can see her presentation slides here. Additionally, Sue Holland gave a brief presentation on how to get your flower rich grassland onto the Priority Habitats Inventory (PHI) with Natural England which is essential for it to be eligible for the GS6 option in Countryside Stewardship. You can find even more information on all of this on our websiteYou should aim to submit the PHI information to NE by mid May at the latest.


‘What does detailed soil analysis tell us about grassland soil health?’ with Ben Taylor-Davies and Ian Robertson


On March 17th in part two of a discussion on detailed soil analyses and how they can help us learn more about grassland soil health Ben Taylor Davies   (Regenben) and Ian Robertson (SSM) discussed the pros and cons of a range of measures to improve soil health including; sward lifting, increasing sward plant diversity, using gypsum and the ‘RIP and DRIP’ approach. Ben and Ian demonstrate the benefits of RIP and DRIP in this short video. Please get in touch if you want to collaborate on the purchase of any components of the “DRIP”.

‘Transition from High Inputs to a Lower Risk, Lower Input Profitable System’ with Dr Nicole Masters

Nicole Masters presents her vision of how farmers could transition from a typical high input farming system, to one where lower inputs create a better return on investment, with lower financial risks while also delivering better soil health. Watch the full webinar again here.

Best wishes,

Caroline, Sue, Catherine and Rory