Herefordshire Meadows October Newsletter

Since the last newsletter, this year’s Meadow Makers have been busy restoring meadows supported by the Herefordshire Meadows team. Local provenance seed has been harvested from flower rich donor sites, sieved and dried and spread on recipient sites. Restoration works are completed on about 80% of our Meadow Maker sites and remaining sites are scheduled for the coming weeks. We will have a more detailed report on all our summer seed harvesting activities in our next monthly update.

Looking ahead to 2022 and beyond, we are working with local partners including the Wye & Usk Foundation and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust to look at the best opportunities to connect flower rich grasslands and other habitats through Nature Recovery Networks. We are also working with Buglife to see how their B-Lines project can be used as another strategic tool. Members who signed up to use Soilmentor benefited from a refresher session with Annie Landless from Vidacycle and are now all ready to start testing at the end of October.

Don’t forget to look at the link to the Floodplain Meadows Partnership Conference and other great upcoming events.

We’ve just started the 6th year of our NE Facilitation Fund Group and are beginning the transition to a formal entity (a Charitable Incorporated Organisation) which once set up, will continue and expand the work of Herefordshire Meadows. Please keep your comments and ideas coming during this exciting time for the group.


Meadow Restoration works

As part of the Plantlife Green Recovery Challenge Fund Meadow Makers project, there’s 56ha of grassland enhancement and restoration going on across Herefordshire. Because every site is unique, the timing of works, methods used, and seed sources are tailored to each site. However, the basic principles of removing the vegetation before restoration and creating some disturbance (at least 50% bare earth) before seeding are applicable for any restoration project, and we have been working closely with landowners to ensure these fundamental requirements are successfully achieved. More details to follow.


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Carbon and Ecosystems: Restoration and Creation to Capture Carbon

A new paper by Penny Anderson focusing on carbon and ecosystems which identifies the contribution those especially in the UK can play in the race to capture more carbon from the atmosphere whilst at the same time addressing the biodiversity crisis and incorporating other ecosystem services. Read the full paper here.

Wood Pasture Habitat Workshop

The CIEEM recently hosted a webinar showcasing the importance and ecological value of Wood Pasture as a habitat, with a key focus on the National Trust’s Clumber Park as a case study. Watch the full webinar again here. It really got us thinking about the role of flower rich grassland in woodpasture and other combinations with trees.

Agricology Podcast: Agroforestry combining woodland & meadows

The latest installment of the Agricology podcast featured a visit to the Three Hagges Woodmeadow to discuss what a woodmeadow is, the potential relevance of woodmeadows to farmers and tips for how to put some land over to a combination of woodland & meadow. Listen again here.


Upcoming Events:

PFLA Farm Resilience Programme: October – November 2021

The Pasture for Life Association have just launched their FREE Farming Resilience Advice project. The project comprises a series of expert-led farmer to farmer online workshops aimed at enabling farmer to identify what changes and adaptations they can make to build resilience into their farm businesses. More information and details on how to sign up can be found here.

Networks for Nature – Facilitating Farmer Collaboration series hosted by Ann Cantrell and White Peak Farmers.

The final webinar in this series was on September 20th on the topic of Building our Facilitation Network: Collaboration for a Greener Future. Facilitation Groups around the country including Herefordshire Meadows (James Hawkins and Caroline Hanks on Apr 12th and Sept 20th) discussed the benefits of collaborative working among farmers and landowners in restoring nature networks, rewarding land use change, green finance and many other topics.

You can find all 6 webinars in the series on Youtube.


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Best wishes,
Herefordshire Meadows Team