Welcome to our July Newsletter. After record-breaking temperatures this June, we have ended the month with some much-needed rain. With the meadows fast setting seed we are looking forward to a month of seed harvesting this July, with 8 donor sites due to be visited and over 60ha of receptor sites being prepped for restoration this year.
Herefordshire Meadows have been busy training up owners of receptor sites so that they can monitor their progress over the coming years and feed into larger datasets that help inform UK-wide conservation efforts.
This update also features information about our FREE membership offer as we continue to transition from a discussion group to a fully-fledged charity, see below for more details.
- Upcoming events:
Saturday 10th June – Sunday 9th July – Colwall Orchard Group 4 Meadows Walk
at Colwall, Malvern Hills AONB
Following the creation of 4 meadows in 2019 (Funded by Plantlife and The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation) we have self-guided walks through each meadow showing progress of meadow restoration in different fields.
Colwall Orchard Group’s Wildflower Meadow Walk starts at Colwall Village Garden Our Sites on Old Church Road, Colwall where the first meadow is located. It then proceeds along Old Church Road to Brookmead where there are two further meadows, and then along the footpath to the final meadow at Lugg’s Mill Orchard. The walk is signposted with notices describing the flora and fauna in these beautiful wildlife habitats. Please feel free to linger and bring along refreshments – there are benches and tables at both Colwall Village Garden and Lugg’s Mill Orchard. The walk is self-guided and open until Sunday 9th July.
Thursday 6th July – Pollinator Monitoring and Meadow Walk with Indie Jones at Colwall Orchard, Colwall 4.30 for 5 – 7pm
Guided walk and a chance to learn about important meadows research and pollinator monitoring techniques, from Liverpool University PHD researcher Indie Jones. Kindly hosted by Colwall Orchard Group and Lindsay Williams.
Booking through Herefordshire Rural Hub email@example.com
Joining instructions will be sent after booking.
Tuesday 11th July – Evening Meadow Walk with Herefordshire Meadows, 3.30pm – 5.30pm at Far House Farm, Lower Maes-Coed, HR2
Guided walk through established meadows including an orchard meadow, a 2021 restoration site from the Meadow Makers Project and young woodland at Far House Farm. A chance to see them at their mid-summer best and for a discussion about restoration methods and ongoing management. Kindly hosted by Joanna & Bruce Jenkyn Jones
Saturday 15th July from 11am – Shropshire Hills Hay Meadow Festival at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre
A fun filled family day to celebrate wildflower meadows and their wealth of wildlife. With guided walks, family activities, talks and demonstration, a bio-blitz, arts and crafts tent, information stands and a music stage as well as a barbeque and bar.
Tickets available in advance or on the day, visit below for more info:
27th – 30th July – Parrysfield Scythe Festival
at Parrysfield, Orcop Hill
A Scythe Festival with some of the best scythers in the country. Interactive scything and hay bale making demonstrations, and training. Refreshments available, children welcome and fun activities. The site owner, David Kueglar is also offering to donate the freshly cut, species rich hay to people looking to create new meadows or enhance existing ones.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
NB one place still available on the scything course
2nd – 4th September – 3 x 1 day Scything and Haymaking Course with Handpowered (Danny and Helene)
at Glandwr Llanveynoe in the Black Mountains
Come and learn the art of scything and experience the joy that comes from managing meadows in a way that is beneficial to wildlife and, most importantly, fun! All equipment provided and more information on Eventbrite.
£65 for a 6 hour session.
- Catch Up:
Plant Identification Training Day at The Leen Farm
On the 6th June we had a great turn out for our plant ID training day at Leen Farm, Pembridge. The day was led by Herefordshire County Botanical Recorder Stuart Hedley, who introduced attendees to the rapid plant monitoring method and some useful tips in plant identification.
This training will allow meadow managers to carry out baseline surveys of their land and track its improvement over time as species richness and diversity increases in response to management changes and restoration works.
The training took place at The Leen’s Coronation Meadow, which was enhanced in 2019 using brush harvested seed from Joan’s Hill, the county Coronation Meadow. So as well as learning new skills the attendees provided a helping hand in the ongoing monitoring at the site.
Many thanks to Tony Norman for hosting the day and for giving us some background about the farm’s history and management.
A link to further photos and info from the day, and survey and monitoring resources:
Bumblebee Identification Training day at Croft Castle
On 27th June Dr Richard Comont from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust led an afternoon of bumblebee identification and survey training, in the beautiful grounds of Croft Castle.
Time was spent netting and potting bumble bees on the fields that were restored with the help of Herefordshire Meadows in 2019, and in the walled garden where conditions were more favourable on what turned out to be an overcast and breezy afternoon.
Many of the attendees were this years B-Lines Project, and Botanica Project, restoration site owners, gaining the skills needed to monitor progress at their own meadows over the coming years. The survey method used is the UK-wide Beewalk Scheme methodology, results of which feed into one of the largest bumblebee datasets in the world.
This training day was organised in partnership with Buglife, our project partners on the Get The Marches Buzzing project, part of Buglife’s important B-Lines work (https://www.buglife.org.uk/our-work/b-lines/).
Helpful bumblebee recording resources can be found on our website: https://www.herefordshiremeadows.org.uk/resources/survey-monitoring/
Many thanks to Jason Wood and the other National Trust staff and volunteers at Croft Castle for hosting.
Herefordshire’s Coronation Meadow 10 years on –
National Meadows Day walk at Sollers Hope
To celebrate National Meadows Day 2023 Fiona Fyshe gave us a tour of the beautiful meadows at Sollers Hope on Friday 30th June. In 2015 this 3.6ha site at Hurstans received brush harvested seed from Joans Hill Coronation Meadow, a Plantlife nature reserve. The hay meadow now boast a healthy population of Green Winged Orchids as well as many other interesting species, and was recently designated a Local Wildlife Site.
The event was fully booked and well attended (despite the threat of rain) and owner Fiona Fyshe talked us through the restoration process. Meadow monitoring methods were discussed, plant ID skills were practiced, and we finished off with a scything demonstration from David Kuegler. Joan’s Hill site manager Jonathan Stone from Plantlife attended to see how the meadows are getting on 8-years post-restoration.
Many thanks to Fiona Fyshe for a lovely day, and also to the late Chips Fyshe who together with Fiona created these beautiful meadows.
Open Meadow Event at Eardisley Castle:
On June 18th 2023, a 1ha meadow in the curtilage of Eardisley Castle, along with the garden was opened to the public to raise money for the Hereford Choral Society. The meadow was created in 2020 as part of the Pollinator Meadows Project, with the support of Herefordshire Meadows, Plantlife and funding from the Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund. The new meadow’s progress has been monitored year on year and the plant species diversity has risen from just species to at least 24 in the space of three years, including the first appearance of a Southern Marsh Orchid this summer. The garden and meadow were visited by about 350 people for the Open Gardens afternoon. The visitors entered the garden through the meadow and were able to learn about its content from two meadow-makers Christopher Goode and Hilary Hillier. Hilary spotted Goats Beard which appeared for the first time this year.
Become a Member of Herefordshire Meadows CIO:
We are now fully registered for donations through the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). If you would like to make a donation to support the preservation, restoration and creation of species rich grasslands across Herefordshire you can do this by following this link. https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/23639#!/DonationDetails
Herefordshire Meadows Team