CELEBRATING TWO YEARS CAMPAIGNING FOR FLOODPLAIN RESTORATION AT BARTONSHAM MEADOWS
Remember this? The historic floods two years ago (left) swept much of the topsoil off the meadows and into the Wye after its transition to arable (versus 2022 Storm Eunice floods captured by Will, right) - and prompted us to set up Friends of Bartonsham Meadows to campaign for restoration of floodplain meadows for the benefit of local people, wildlife, biodiversity, and climate. Two years later high floods struck again, as they tend to do on floodplains.
This newsletter marks our two year anniversary. Here are some of the things we are delighted to have achieved in that time.
- Community engagement through in-person events, online events and social media
- Wildlife and ecological surveys (bioblitz with Hidden Herefordshire, moths, hedgerows, reptiles, birds)
- Development of an interactive map showing what floodplain restoration with heritage measures could look like (here)
- Working groups on litter picking, tree-guard removal and balsam bashing
- Secured support of the MP, Bishop, local church and leader of the council
- Fostered relationships between advisory groups such as Herefordshire Meadows and the Floodplain Meadows Partnership with the Church Commissioners
- We have raised sufficient funds to cover our activities and ensure we can continue to campaign for better management of this land
- More details on the history and activities we have undertaken is available here
- An overview of our November 2021 event with expert groups and the Church Commissioners is available here and a recording of the event here
- We have developed in-depth research on grasslands (here), the history of the site (here), the relationship between the church and the meadows (here) and an extensive article in the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s Flycatcher Magazine (here).
- We have constituted as a community association with elected officers including Treasurer, Secretary and Convenor
LAND MANAGEMENT UPDATE As a result of our activities and with the solid support of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust throughout the last two years, the Church Commissioners have entered into negotiations with the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust to take a long lease on the management of the land. Watch this space as we hope to bring you an official announcement soon.
Dick Jones and Bill Laws have started conducting a monthly bird survey. This month (23rd. February between 9:00 and 11:45) they spotted:
|Skylark (heard)||Tree creeper||Herring gull|
|Wood pigeon||Blue tit||Pied wagtail|
|Crow||Magpie||Long tailed tit|
|Jackdaw||Black headed gull||Moorhen|
|Lesser blback backed gull||Rook|
Hereford Wildlife Trust visit- Trustees of the HWT, led by Andrew Nixon, visited the Meadows on a wet afternoon on Monday 28th February. Here they are with Ruth.
PLANNING MATTERS An application from Connexus, the housing association, for 1-66 River View (no 214582) has the potential to affect views across the River. This is the group of six large blocks of flats which can be seen looking south across the Meadows and are especially visible from the riverbank public footpath in the winter. The flats, which were built in the ‘Cornish Unit’ style soon after the 1939-45 War do not meet modern standards for energy efficiency and the idea is to clad them with external wall and roof insulation. They would be faced on the ground floor with a grey/blue brick slip, on the first floor with white render and on the second floor with a red coloured metal. The proposal, which includes changing all the windows to single glazed lights, would add to the bulk and height of the building by about 18 inches. Following consideration by the planning officer around the impact of the scheme on the setting of the Meadows, the scheme has been withdrawn for a rethink.
Please get in touch with your sightings of flora and fauna – and floods! We keep a record and would really appreciate any notes or images you take. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, if you could do any of the following we’d be super grateful:
- Share this newsletter
- Join us on Instagram and Facebook
- Become a formal member of the Friends Group – sign up here
- Become a member of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust here
Anna, Bill, Charlie, Chloe, Dick, Gareth, Jeremy, Mo, Rhys, Ruth & Will