July has been a busy month as we have been harvesting seed from species rich meadows across the county to be used in the Plantlife Meadow Makers project. The harvested seed is dried and stored ready to be spread on the restoration fields later in the year. We also restored two sites using green hay – very hot work in the middle of a heatwave.
We also launched our 1-year subscription with Soilmentor, which will allow 20 group members to learn what healthy soils look like on their farm and understanding the relationship above and below ground.
Meadows Adviser, Rory Johnson, travelled up north of the border to Shropshire to give a talk at the Shropshire Hay Festival all about small meadow creation and we are working with Plantlife to help develop and test new Meadow Making and Plant identification software.
We are excited to announce that we will be working alongside the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust on their new Green Recovery Challenge Fund project, which will support a number of projects all contributing to nature’s recovery across the county. We will be assisting with the surveying and monitoring of flower rich grasslands and working with landowners to help them best manage these sites for wildlife.
Soilmentor Training day
On 12th July Annie Landless, Community Development coordinator at Vidacycle, led an introductory session to the Soilmentor app for 20 of our core group members. The Soilmentor software is designed to help farmers learn what healthy soils and flourishing biodiversity look like on a farm and enable farmers to make better informed farm management decisions.
Participants were first given a general introduction to the app platform before then practicing on some test sites out in the field. Members were able to ask questions and get first hand feedback on the app as well as more generally being able to discuss various methods of improving soil health on their farms. We look forward to comparing and contrasting participant’s observations, and using these to explore potential management changes. Anyone can find out more about the range of Soilmentor tests and use these themselves.