On Tuesday 6th June meadow owners from across Herefordshire attended a Plant Identification training day at The Leen Farm, Pembridge. The day was led by County Botanical Recorder and Herefordshire Meadows Trustee Stuart Hedley, who introduced the group to the Rapid Plant Monitoring Method, a simple technique for monitoring changes in grassland over time.
The session was aimed at equipping meadow managers with the skills to carry out baseline surveys of their own land pre-restoration, and then track its improvement over the years post-restoration as species diversity and richness grows. The surveys and monitoring serve a vital role in supporting and guiding future work, and are a rewarding way for landowners to quantify the fruit of their labours.
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. And thank you to the 200+ passing cows that finally let us get to the tea and biscuits before home-time!
Useful resources can be found on the survey and monitoring page of our website, such as a video guide to the rapid plant assessment method, a downloadable survey sheet, and Stuart Hedley’s very helpful ‘problem pairs’ ID sheets.
Two recommended field guides are:
- Collins Wildflower Guide 2nd edition, Streeter et al.
- The Wildflower Key, Frances Rose
And the Field Studies Council also sells grassland plants and grasses guides.
To make a donation and support the creation, protection and restoration of species rich grasslands across Herefordshire click here.