We are officially into meteorological spring and for all those who restored meadows last year, or have well established meadows, now is the time to start looking for those yellow rattle seedlings and ensuring that livestock are removed when they start appearing. This month as we wrap the Meadow Makers project, we are excited to announce that we will be partnering Herefordshire Wildlife Trust on their Wilder Herefordshire project where we will be supporting those who have grassland that they’d like to be selected as new, Local Wildlife Sites. More on all of this below. Again there are lots of talks to catch up on, including the first two in our Meadows, Mosaics and Mitigating Climate Change series.
We have good news to share. We have been granted charitable status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO); the first step on our transition from a discussion group to a fully formed entity. We’d like to say a huge thank you to James Hawkins and Stuart Hedley and our wonderful Steering Group who have guided and supported Rory and Caroline through the application process with professional advice from Annabelle Elletson.
We are already indebted to the 7 Herefordshire Meadows members who have stepped up to be our founding Trustees; James Hawkins, Stuart Hedley, Lucinda Lewis, Mark Wood, Julian Partridge, Andrew Nixon and Lyn Langford. There will be updates in each newsletter as things progress in the coming months.
New Project for 2022:
A Wilder Herefordshire project with Herefordshire Wildlife Trust
This summer we will be assisting Herefordshire Wildlife Trust as a project partner on their Green Recovery Funded Wilder Herefordshire project. Our role will be to work with landowners across the county to identify, survey and propose new, grassland Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) for selection. You can find out all about how to put a LWS candidate site forward and why you would want a LWS on your land here.
Meadows, Mosaics and Mitigating Climate Change – grazing animals in healthy ecosystems
Thursday 17th March 3:30 – 5:30pm – Shelterbelts and “Living Barn” Wood Pasture Mosaics at Risbury Court courtesy of Rich Thomas
On Thursday 17th March we will be hosting the third event in our Meadows, Mosaics and Mitigating Climate Change series and the first in person event. We will be discussing the theory and practicalities of trees and shelterbelts on farms and how these can be used to support and enhance grasslands and grazing systems. We will also be joined by Sam Hollick from Bangor University who will share his current PhD research on this up and coming topic. Priority booking for those who are actively considering creating this kind of mosaic on their land to benefit their livestock as well as the wider environment. . You can find out more information about the event and how to book here.
‘Wood Meadows’ with George Peterken
We kicked off our Meadows, Mosaics and Mitigating Climate Change series with a fascinating talk from George Peterken on the unique and precious habitat that is a Wood Meadow. You can read a summary of the event as well as find links to the slides and how to watch it again here.
‘Grassland Carbon – restoration, creation and management practices that affect carbon sequestration in grasslands’ with Penny Anderson and Phil Wilson
We teamed up with Plantlife and other members of the Meadow Makers project to discuss the rapidly evolving science on grassland carbon. Guest speakers were Penny Anderson and Phil Wilson and they were subsequently joined for a panel discussion by Lisa Norton, Claire Cornish and Bill Grayson . The event was chaired by Caroline Hanks. You can read a full report and watch the event again here.
Spring Into Action with Plantlife
The majority of Plantlife’s online Spring Into Action talks are now available to watch again on their YouTube channel to watch again here.
Meadow Makers Project Success:
Catherine Janson in action gathering green hay for a meadow restoration.
March sees us bringing to a close the Plantlife Meadow Makers project and we want to thank everyone who’s been involved. With over 30 Meadow Makers this year we are very pleased to say that you exceeded the project target of restoring a further 56ha of grassland across the county with a significant proportion of the restored sites receiving local, brush harvested seed. A special mention to Catherine Janson for all her fantastic efforts managing restoration sites across Northwest Herefordshire and beyond. Having seen this project through from start to completion Catherine has stepped away from Herefordshire Meadows to focus all her energy on continuing the excellent habitat creation work she’s been enabling for several years in the Mowley Valley and elsewhere in the River Arrow catchment. Catherine remains a valued member of our CSFF group and on behalf of the whole team at Herefordshire Meadows and all the landowners Catherine supported through this project we would like to say a very big thank you!!!
New Funding Opportunity:
Severn Trent Boost for Biodiversity Grant Scheme:
Severn Trent are launching the next round of their Boost for Biodiversity grant scheme on 7th March 2022. All projects put forward for the scheme must be designed to:
- Create or enhance habitats
- Be between 0.5 – 30ha in size or at least 500m long for a linear feature.
- Be within the Severn Trent Region
- Be submitted by a farm group/ network or at least two neighbouring farms.
Full terms and conditions of the grant can be found here. Applications close at 5pm on Monday 11th April.
Get Involved in the debate:
WWF ‘Land of Plenty’ report.
In an attempt to produce a roadmap for how the UK Government can reduce emissions in the food and farming sector to help meet its Paris Climate Agreement pledge the World Wildlife Fund have produced a report entitled ‘Land of Plenty’which outlines what they believe need to be done. If you would like to give your feedback and opinions on this and many other emerging policy papers then we encourage you to join the UK Farmer Group Discussion Network here.
Please be sure to use HEREFORDSHIRE MEADOWS as our group name
Please let Caroline Hanks know when you’ve signed up and do ask any questions
Making Meadows across Herefordshire
Below is a map of all the meadow restoration sites that have have been successfully completed since 2019. This includes an additional 56ha last year as part of the Meadow Makers Project. There are exciting new projects underway and in the pipeline for 2022 – 2024 to support members to continue to add dots and fill in the gaps.
Herefordshire Meadows Team