This years meadow makers have been busy creating new wildflower meadows throughout September and October as part of the Botanica project. Brush harvested seed was spread across 22 hectares and 2.5 hectares will be enhanced with plug planting Many thanks to all who helped with this work including many volunteer seed strewers. New techniques are emerging all the time with a grit spreader from Llangarron used to spread brush harvested seed after second sieving at St Weonards. Correct management through the first winter is essential for successful seedling establishment. Look out for our winter management refresher day to come. Meanwhile the onset of wetter autumn weather means the arrival of lots of fantastic fungi. Our waxcap walk is open for booking below, and read on to find out how you can all get involved with Plantlife’s ‘Waxcap Watch’ campaign.
Wednesday 9thNovember 7.30pm Making SFI Moorland Easy – New Digital Tools at Zoom Webinar
A free webinar session being run by the Foundation for Common Land looking at how to deliver SFI Moorland on Commons. Register here https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YzG25i-WSxOCoSGyDoQCcA
Monday 21st November 11.00am – 1.00pm Waxcap Walk at Stockings Meadow Reserve, Green Lane, Bromyard, Herefordshire HR7 4RY led by Jo Weightman, Herefordshire Fungus Survey Group, courtesy of David Hutton, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust
Join us for an autumnal ID day at Stockings Meadow Nature Reserve led by Jo Weightman, the Herefordshire Fungus Recorder. This is a great chance to:
- Identify some of the more distinctive waxcap fungi (Download the Plantlife Waxcap guide to your phone or device and bring small UNlidded plastic container(s) with you)
- Assess the importance of your grassland by the use of a simple scorecard
- Discuss grassland management in relation to fungi as indicators of soil health.
Bookings essential though Herefordshire Rural Hub to include car sharing please as parking is very limited.
Celebrating flower rich grassland: past successes and future opportunities to integrate wood pasture and wood meadow with farming at Fernhall Farm
The fifth and final event in our 2022 Meadows, Mosaics and Mitigating Climate Change Series focused on woodmeadows and wood pastures. Dan Carne, UK Director of the Woodmeadow Trust was our guest speaker and this was followed by a farm walk where we were able to discuss the practical steps being taken by Nick and Nicci Lloyd to increase biodiversity on their farm. A full report including speakers slides and links to current Countryside Stewardship funding options can be found here.
Woolhope Dome Workshop – Developing Natural Capital and agri-environment schemes in the Woolhope Dome
On 28th September the Woolhope Village Hall was filled for a workshop that brought together farmers, smallholders and a whole host of local stakeholders and organsiations all interested in the management of this unique part of the county. Speakers included Billy Lewis of Boycefield Farm, Kate Speke-Adams (Wye and Usk Foundation) and Caroline Hanks (Herefordshire Meadows). You can find a full report from the event here.
Government reiterates commitment to environmental protections:
There has been a lot of rumour and speculation recently that DEFRA may change or delay proposed Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs). On 28th December DEFRA released a statement reiterating its commitment to the ELMs programme and the test and trial process if continuing. Herefordshire Meadows is working with other national partners to ensure that the government remains committed to its support of producing high-quality food and enhancing our natural environment.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund
Herefordshire Rural Hub is working with The Prince’s Countryside Fund to deliver Farm for the Future, Defra’s Future Farming Resilience Fund.
Farm for the Future will help farm businesses that are in recipt of BPS in England to navigate changes in policy and become more resilient and sustainable. As well as hosting a series of workshops there are specialist local coordinators who can offer FREE 1:1 sessions covering topics such as; taxation advice, diversification, environmental schemes, succession planning … for more information see the Hub website or
Waxcaps can be a great indicator of rare, species-rich grassland, and knowing where waxcaps thrive can help pinpoint where fragments of old meadows and pastures survive. Plantlife have developed a free Waxcap survey app which anyone can use to help collect and feed in data on these increasingly rare fungi. You can find all the details you need to get involved here.
Shifting seasons – Autumn Flowers:
The unseasonably mild October weather produced the unexpected spectacle in one of our member’s fields of bird’s foot trefoil and ox-eye daisy in flower in mid-Autumn. This is the first year of enhancing an old ryegrass ley with amazing success that you can see from the density of broad leaved plants
Herefordshire Meadows Team
Herefordshire Meadows is registered in England and Wales as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration no. 1198105