Unlike the meadows, the Herefordshire Meadows team have not been sitting dormant over the winter. We have been working hard behind the scenes to; put together an exciting programme of summer events, hire a new team member, launch a new project and assess over 60ha of new meadow restoration sites across the county. More on all of this below.
Despite the recent snow and cold snap, we have had photos being sent in of little yellow rattle seedlings appearing in people’s meadows. Once you spot this annual plant in your own meadow it is time to remove any grazing livestock to avoid the seedlings being nibbled.
We always love to hear how our previous project sites are getting along. If you restored a meadow in 2019 – 2022 please keep sending us your photos and any botanical and pollinator records you have, including any notable new arrivals, and get ready to survey in 2023. We recently had a group of advisers from Warwickshire come and visit a selection of project restoration sites and they were very impressed by the results already being seen. We want to keep pushing the message that nature recovery through species rich grasslands is not only essential but highly achievable and the more data we have to back up these claims, the better.
Some more recent good news has been the receipt of a significant donation from the Kingspan Insulation Community Trust which will help to support further grassland restoration works in the North of the county in the coming years. We were also one of the charities chosen by the public to receive a £500 donation from the Waitrose Hereford Community Matters programme. We are extremely grateful to all those who have offered us their support.
New Project for 2023:
Get the Marches Buzzing project with Buglife
We are very excited to announce that we will be partnering with Buglife on an ambitious, cross county project that seeks to restore 57 hectares of lowland heath and species-rich grassland within B-Lines across Shropshire and North Herefordshire in 2023.
B-Lines are 3km wide ‘insect pathways’ that have been mapped through our countryside and towns to connect up wildflower-rich habitats across the UK. These lines are to be filled with wildflowers to enable pollinators and other wildlife to move through our landscape to feed, nest and hibernate. Herefordshire Meadows will be leading on the delivery of 13 hectares of species-rich grassland creation in North Herefordshire.
“Get the Marches Buzzing” is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Severn Trent Water, Millichope Foundation, Telford & Wrekin Council, Milkywire. Further details on the project can be found here.
Wednesday 19th April 10.00 – 13.00 Harvesting Wildflower Seeds in the Brecon Beacons at The Stables Penpont Estate, Penpont, LD3 8EU
This free event, being run by the Brecon Beacons Local Nature Partnership, will showcase their Feasibility Study into developing a network for the sharing of locally sourced, native wildflower seed within the Brecon Beacons National Park. More information including how to book a space can be found here.
Wednesday 26th April 10.30 – 16.00 Spring Plant Fair at Broxwood Court, Pembridge, HR6 9JJ
Herefordshire Meadows will once again have a stand at the Broxwood Plant Fair which takes place in the beautiful Broxwood Court gardens. Come and find us to talk all things meadow, sign up to our mailing list, hear first-hand what we have been up to recently across the county and ask whatever questions you may have. All proceeds from the event go to supporting The Cart Shed, a very worthwhile, local cause. Further information can be found here.
Thursday 27th April 10.15 – 14.00 Farming in a Floodplain at Waterhay Farm, Cricklade, SN6 6QY
A chance to visit beef farmer Andy Rumming at Waterhay who farms on the upper Thames floodplain. Full details of how to book can be found on our website. Open for Priority booking for floodplain farmers. Transport from Ross-on-Wye town centre if required. This event is kindly funded by the Environment Agency through the Wye Valley AONB.
Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th May Floodplain Meadow Partnership Conference 2023 Restoring meadow communities: plants, soils, people at Oxford Natural History Museum OX1 3PW
An inspiring two-day conference, taking an holistic look at floodplain meadow restoration with plenty of opportunities for networking and sharing best practice. Full information including how to book your tickets can be found here.
‘Making the most of ELM for Commons’ with the Foundation for Common Land
On 15th February we were delighted to have Joe Leaper and Lyndsey Stride from the Foundation for Common Land (FCL) lead a Zoom Webinar session which covered some of the unique challenges and opportunities of managing Commons in new funding frameworks. You can find the slides from the talk as well as a full write up on our website here.
‘Wild Isles’ presented by Sir David Attenborough on BBC One and BBC iPlayer
The product of a unique collaboration between WWF-UK, the RSPB and The Open University, Wild Isles currently airing on the BBC aims to explore and celebrate four of the UK’s key habitats – grasslands, woodlands, freshwater, and marine. The grasslands episode will air on Sunday 26th March. Last summer the Herefordshire Meadows team hosted a film crew from WWF-UK to put together a (much lower budget) film looking at how species rich grasslands and profitable and sustainable farming go hand in hand. We expect this to be released next month … watch this space.
CLOSING SOON: Severn Trent Boost for Biodiversity Grant Scheme
The latest round of the Severn Trent Boost for Biodiversity grant scheme closes at 9am on 27th March 2023. 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.
Herefordshire Natural Flood Management (NFM) Project and NFM Construction Grant Scheme
Following on from a successful Natural Flood Management (NFM) pilot project, Herefordshire Council has secured additional funding to extend their NFM grant support programme to 31 March 2027. The funding is available to landowners located within the seven NFM priority sub-catchments. The creation and restoration of species rich grasslands can be supported under the ‘landowner innovation category’ and there is also a Construction Grant Scheme. Further information on the project can be found here.
If you are in one of the catchments and interested in increasing the diversity of your grasslands please get in touch as we can connect you with your local NFM catchment officer and support you with the application process.
Herefordshire Meadows welcomes new Assistant Meadows Adviser:
Herefordshire Meadows is pleased to announce a new member to the team as we welcome our new assistant meadows advisor Carys Solman. This new role will support Caroline Hanks and Rory Johnson on our Airwick Botanica grassland restoration and Buglife B-lines projects as well as the Herefordshire Meadows Advisory Service.
Carys Solman has been working with the Wildlife Trusts for the last decade, most recently managing wildflower meadows in Monmouthshire. After carrying out small-scale wildflower seed harvesting and distribution for Gwent Wildlife Trust over the last three years Carys is delighted to now be focusing on this exciting work in Herefordshire. She brings experience in habitat management, grants, community engagement, and charity administration.
Herefordshire Meadows Team