Winter 2023 Newsletter

FoBM Christmas Newsletter

This year has seen the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (HWT) take over Bartonsham Meadows as their newest and largest nature reserve. Work has begun to regenerate and restore the Meadows to biodiverse floodplain habitat – the wild heart of Hereford.

In this newsletter

  • Hedgerow restoration – and new dates
  • HWT end of year update
  • HWT draft management plan – summarised here and in detail on our website
  • Increase in birds recorded at the site
  • Art for Bartonsham – online and in HWT shops
  • Dates for your diaries – all welcome to be a part of this

Management Update

Hedgerow Planting

Words: Anna Gundrey

We’ve had four super productive days of hedge planting on the Meadow in November and early December. There was a really good turn out for every session – and it was great to see a mix of familiar and new faces on each occasion. So far we’ve planted over one and a half thousand hedging trees and restored two and a half hedgerows measuring three quarters of a kilometre.  This has way outstripped our expectations – we were hoping to restore a single hedgerow of about 250m! The hedgerow plants are a diverse mix of species to provide structural variety and species richness. They include hawthorn, blackthorn, wild cherry, bird cherry, dog rose, elder, spindle, dogwood, crab apple, hazel, field maple. We have also planted several oaks within the hedgerows which will be left to grow into mature trees, and we have ten disease-resistant elm trees on order to plant in the new year. A big thank you to everyone who came out in the mud and rain to plant, and to all those who donated trees. Also a massive thanks to the HWT volunteer team who lead the sessions, and this project couldn’t have been done without the HWT work party who valiantly cleared the hedge lines in advance of the planting days. They had the horrible job of removing the bramble that had taken over, and the barbed-wire fence that was embedded within.  

The trees, canes and spiral guards were funded by the Greening the City Community Grants Scheme. We also received 420 free trees from the Woodland Trust ‘Free Trees for Schools and Communities’ scheme, which is still open if anyone has a community space to enhance for wildlife.

It has been so exciting to start doing things on the ground and working together as a community, and the great news is that there’s still more to do!

***Don’t miss our Christmas special ‘Finish off the planting’ session on Saturday 30th December***.  We’ve got about 300 hedgerow trees still to plant to complete the third hedgerow.  Come along for some post-christmas fresh air and mince pies. Children are welcome with their grown-ups to plant the section by the Green Street entrance not fenced by barbed wire.

Meet at Green Street entrance at 10am with spade, gloves and optional Christmas snacks!

A massive thank you to all who have taken part so far and we hope to see some of you again at our final session of the year.

Bartonsham Meadows End of Year Update

Words: David Hutton, Bartonsham Meadows Reserves Manager, Hereford Wildlife Trust

1 December 2023

With the end of the year approaching it’s a good time to take stock of plans and progress at Bartonsham Meadows Nature Reserve…

There has been some exciting activity at the Reserve this year, including several well attended hedge planting sessions with local volunteers as well as the ongoing ‘Balsam Bashes’ during the summer and recording of the birds using the Reserve.

In the meantime the Trust is working hard to raise funds to continue the management of the site into the future. This funding is unlikely to be available until the new year at which time we hope this will provide more staff ‘on the ground’ to work with volunteers and contractors to improve the wildlife habitats, access and interpretation material on the Reserve.

Potential funding streams include;

  • The National Heritage Lottery Fund – Application submitted in November and decision on January/February (for staff, interpretation, restoration and monitoring)
  • Welsh Water  – match funding for the above Lottery application
  • Capital Countryside Stewardship – Application for reserve access, livestock fencing and hedge management
  • Biodiversity Net Gain – this is a potentially very useful form of funding which will be shared with the Church Commissioners as per the terms of our lease.

After signing the lease with the Church Commissioners in May 2023, work began on reviewing the management plan and over the following few months a management plan was agreed by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, the steering group of Friends of Bartonsham Meadows, and has been shared and discussed with the Church Commissioners.  The plan includes several key management objectives, the following is a brief summary, for more detail and locations, see the Draft Management Plan.

Floodplain Meadow Restoration

One of the primary objectives is the restoration of around 18ha (just over half the area of the nature reserve) of Floodplain Meadow with the eventual aim of restoring traditional hay cutting and grazing.

Experts from the Floodplain Meadows Partnership visited Bartonsham in October to advise on future management. They recommended that we remove the standing vegetation once or twice a year for two or three years between May and July. This process will reduce the dominance of the more vigorous plants like docks and thistles and will reduce soil fertility, particularly phosphates to a level where we can start to introduce the wild flowers and grasses which would once have grown at Bartonsham Meadows.

The first step in this process was to remove around three years growth of arable weeds from 18ha of the Reserve and to transport this off site to an Anaerobic Digester or composting facility. The cut material was first stored in large plastic bags which turned the material into a form of silage. This process retains much of the stored energy in the cut material and makes it more useable and valuable energy source for the AD facility, thus reducing the cost of removing it. In future we hope that the material can be taken directly to the AD facility without the need to turn it into silage. In the longer term material will be removed as hay with cattle or sheep grazing the re-growth in late summer.

Managed Natural Regeneration

Another main objective of the Reserve management plan is the establishment of around 17ha (just under half the area of the reserve) Managed Natural Regeneration.

This is more or less all about letting nature do its own thing!

As anyone who has walked the meadows during the summer will have noticed, the mixture of docks, thistles and nettles which regenerated naturally in the disturbed soils left by the farming operations after the floods of 2019, provided a habitat for an amazing variety of birds and insects as well as a surprising number of other plants. The structure of the habitat formed by the tall, robust plants like docks, hogweed, teasel and tansy, provides important habitat diversity for the reserve as a whole and while this area may look a little untidy to some eyes at the moment, it will change over time and provide an interesting contrast to the more intensively managed areas of floodplain meadow.  We aim to have a few grazing animals on this area in order to create a ‘mosaic’ of grass and scrub which will develop over time to create a rich habitat for a great variety of plants and animals.

There has been some concern about seeds from thistles causing problems in the areas of meadow restoration. This is something we will need to keep an eye on but because most of the meadows now have an established grass sward, giving fewer opportunities for seeds to establish themselves, we hope this will become less of a problem, especially as the dominance of thistle in the natural regeneration areas reduces over time.

Monitoring and Recording

We hope to involve groups of local volunteers and potentially students from nearby Colleges and Universities in recording and monitoring the development of the habitats on the reserve as time goes on. We’ll share the results on the website and via newsletters to people who have expressed an interest.

Other important aspects of managing the Reserve include;

  • hedge management – newly planted hedge and existing hedges
  • pond restoration – of the two ‘ghost ponds’ shown on historic maps and in some aerial photos.
  • interpretation – to explain about the wildlife and management of the reserve

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Bartonsham Meadows Draft Management Plant

FOBM summary of HWT draft plan

Words: Bill Laws

The main aim of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s management plan, which we reproduce on our website, is:

to manage the site as a Nature Reserve in order to enhance and maintain biodiversity, and to maintain public access for quiet enjoyment of the natural environment.

In addition Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (HWT) plan to restore the floodplain grassland; manage the scrub, woodland habitats (including veteran trees), hedgerows and in-field trees; create a natural regeneration area and restore the two former ponds; control non-native, invasive species like Himalayan balsam; use low-level grazing by cattle, sheep or ponies to allow natural succession on part of the Meadows and allow natural regeneration to take place on the remainder of the land. HWT wish to support community involvement, celebrate the Meadow’s wildlife and cultural history; and to maintain safe public access, balancing those needs against those of wildlife and biodiversity. HWT is also considering creating additional features such as wetland ‘scrapes’ (to encourage more wildlife and assist flood water retention) and planting fruit trees.

HWT recognise a number of challenges including the regular seasonal flooding; the lack of on-site storage; vandalism; disturbance from dogs; the Public Rights of Way; and the presence of a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the Row Ditch.

However, managing the Meadows as a nature reserve will benefit both the neighbouring community – this is the city’s largest urban reserve – and, more importantly given the state of climate change, ‘improve water infiltration, store carbon and flood waters, support pollinating insects, increase biodiversity and improve water quality’.

The full draft plan is available on the FOBM website here.

Increase in Meadow birds

Words: Bill Laws

November’s bird count was a record with 32 species seen. There were the usual long-tailed tits, mistle and song thrushes, pied wagtails, wren, goldfinch, robins, mallard and herons.

While we saw redwings, we missed that other winter visitor, the fieldfare, usually seen and heard (chuk-ah-chuk) about now. But we did catch a lesser redpoll: it’s all a matter of luck on the day.

Looking back (2022:22; 2021:18; 2020:22) the number of species seems to be increasing. We guess this is due to the bottom field (Lower Great Meadow) and riverside fields (Great Meadow and Meadow Piece) being left to rewild. This provides food and shelter for birds we’ve not seen for a long time such as reed buntings and the stonechat which lives up to its name: it sounds like two stones knocking together. Watch out for both on the field fringes.

Many thanks to Bill Laws and Dick Jones for their monthly bird counts.

Get your stockings filled

  • Stunning fresh vibrant prints and cards available in HWT shops and online, designed by Jess Bugler and with profits ringfenced for Bartonsham Meadows regeneration
  • Any other purchases from HWT will also support the Bartonsham Meadows restoration of course! And the Hereford shop on Church St will welcome any donations you might have.
  • Thanks to all who have shared heart-warming images and photography with us – we’re figuring out ways to showcase this and get more local artists involved – please keep in touch / get in touch
  • And welcoming Jess Bugler to the steering committee as our arts lead to help us on this


Image: Walk in the Meadows, riso print by Jess Bugler

Dates for your diary

  • Christmas special ‘Finish off the planting’ session 30 December. Meet 10am Green Street entrance
  • Wassail – 12th night – 6 January 2024
  • Committee meeting – 15 January 2024 7.30pm Volly – no speaker per se but all welcome to join the business meeting, have a pint, and chat regeneration and restoration
  • Cathedral talk – Anna and Ruth – 11 March 2024

Get involved


Back in October, Will took this incredible dawn image of the Meadows – it seems fitting to close the year with it as we reflect on the HUGE progress made in securing the future of Bartonsham’s freshly-designated Nature Reserve. We hope your holidays are equally Merry and Bright!

Best wishes,

Anna, Bill, Charlie, Dick, Gareth, Jen-May, Jeremy, Jess, Mo, Rhian, Ruth & Will

Autum 2023 Newsletter

Poppy Wilkins

Welcome to our bumper issue – with steps already being made in the restoration of the Meadows, there is a lot to update you on and plenty to get involved in. Read on for:

  • Friends of Bartonsham Meadows AGM
  • Herefordshire Wildlife Trust management plan all mapped out
  • Online survey is open *share your views*
  • Got skills and enthusiasm to share? HWT volunteer induction dates to be announced
  • Save the date and come plant with us! 18 and 19 November, and 2 and 3 December
  • Cycle route update
  • Events

Amazing AGM

We held our second ever AGM on Monday 18 September with a packed hall of 45+ supporters. After keeping you waiting while we sweated the technology Ruth gave a chair report and Dick a treasurer’s report. Ruth noted that both our two constitutional objectives will be met now that the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has signed a twenty-five year lease with the landowners, the Church Commissioners, in May this year.

Friends of Bartonsham Meadow’s constitutional objectives are: (1) To restore the meadows as traditionally managed floodplain habitats; and (2) To provide environmental, educational and social benefits for the locality. Now that the Meadows are in the capable hands of the HWT, we feel that our objectives are in sight. We will continue our efforts to secure the success of this project by supporting the HWT to transform the depleted Meadows to a haven for wildlife. We want the Meadows to become a healthy functioning natural habitat for plants, animals and people.

We seek to place wildlife, ecology and heritage at the forefront of our efforts–and thereby a welcoming habitat for humans too. Hereford will be wild at heart and an exemplar of how humans and (other) wildlife can coexist in an urban environment. We recognise that this is a longterm project and will likely be decades in the making. Yet the benefits are already appearing–such as a refuge for birdlife and source of their winter food–and the project will serve Hereford for long years to come.

Ruth Westoby, Fobm Chair

Events in the last year:

  • Plant ID walk (2 Jan)
  • Litterpick (5 March)
  • Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and the Church Commissioners sign 25-year lease (May)
  • May Day celebration
  • HWT and Fobm survey *still open see below*
  • Balsam Bashes (21 May and 25 June)
  • Save the Wye (1 July)
  • River Carnival (1 August)
  • Big Butterfly Count (16 July)
  • Monthly bird surveys (thanks the tireless Bill and Dick)
  • Quarterly newsletter
We have a whopping 376 supporters at the last count (considering those signed up to our newsletter as supporters) and we thank all of you for your continuing encouragement.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Management Plan

Words: Anna Gundrey, FoBM Ecologist

The Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (HWT) have produced a detailed management plan as part of their application for Heritage Lottery Funds. David Hutton, HWT reserves manager for Bartonsham Meadows, gave a presentation at FoBM’s recent AGM.

The HWT proposes to create a mosaic of grassland habitats on the Meadows with the aim of maximizing its value for wildlife. The northern portion of site will be managed as traditional meadows, with the fields shut up until summer, when they will be cut for hay and then ‘aftermath’ grazed by livestock.  The southern portion of the site will be left to naturally regenerate, but will be lightly grazed to ensure it remains open and does not develop into scrub.  This habitat is developing nicely and is already supporting a rich variety of birds and other wildlife. The aim is to monitor the two habitats as they develop and gather useful data on the relative merits of each approach.  

So where do people fit in? Clearly fences will be required if livestock are to be re-introduced and it will be important to separate livestock and dogs (for the welfare of both). However, HWT intends to retain a network of wide rides through the Meadows, including all the way around the edge. These rides will be wider than the existing footpaths and desire lines so a walk through the meadows should actually feel more ‘open’ than it does at the moment, where we are walled in by tall docks.  

Other proposals include restoration of traditional ponds and hedgerows, tree planting and wetland ‘scrapes’.  All adding up to a rich and diverse mosaic of habitats for the enjoyment of all.  

David Hutton, the HWT Bartonsham Reserves Manager, shared HWT’s management objectives with us at the AGM.

Primary Management Objective

To manage the site as Nature Reserve to enhance and maintain biodiversity and to maintain public access for quiet enjoyment of the natural environment.

Secondary Objectives

  1. Restoration of floodplain grassland and/or mosaics of related grassland communities
  2. Management and restoration of scrub/woodland habitats including veteran trees, hedgerows, in field trees and successional scrub
  3. Management of natural succession/low-intervention – monitoring zone
  4. Maintaining and encourage community involvement
  5. To educate and inform people about the wildlife and cultural history of the site
  6. Maintaining safe public access, as far as possible in balance with wildlife and biodiversity objectives
  7. Control of non-native invasive species
  8. To measure biodiversity, carbon capture and nutrient capture if funds are available
  9. Creation of wetland features including ponds and scrapes
  10. Monitoring key wildlife groups.

The Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s online survey is open – speak up and be heard!

HWT have been running an online survey to gather people’s opinions on how the Meadows should be managed for. They have fed back the key messages so far – but don’t worry there’s still time to have your say.  The survey remains open on the HWT website.

Results in so far

Over 60 people completed the paper survey and over 90 people completed the online survey.

–  The majority (c. 70%) of people visit the Meadows for either walking (with or without dogs) and to be in nature.

–  Over 70% get to the Meadows on foot

–  Accessible footpaths and a wildlife watching hide were cited as the main measures that would encourage people to visit more as you can see from the diagram.

HWT Volunteer Induction

There are two simple steps to becoming a Hereford Wildlife Trust volunteer. You need to fill in a ‘Volunteer Form’ to express your interest and provide contact details and attend an ‘Induction’ session (either in person or online). HWT have completed their first induction for Bartonsham volunteers on Monday 25 September and more dates will be announced soon. We need volunteers for many tasks including tree planting, wildlife survey and monitoring, and path mowing  – please do join a short induction so that we can get more hands on the job. Register here for HWT to contact you with induction and volunteering opportunities.

At the AGM David listed the sort of actions volunteers could help with. Fancy some cattle counting anyone?

Ways to Help

  • Monitoring and recording wildlife
  • Regular patrols and litter picking
  • Tree and hedgerow planting
  • Keeping paths open
  • Livestock checking
  • Work parties – balsam bashing, tree planting meadow management
  • Leading guided walks
  • Education/schools support

Hedgerow planting on Bartonsham Meadows

Words: Anna Gundrey, Ecologist

Dates: Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November and Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December

This November, we will have our first opportunity to volunteer on the new Bartonsham Meadows Nature Reserve. FoBM secured a £5000 grant from Hereford Council’s ‘Greening the City’ fund to restore the defunct hedgerow that runs along the track by the Green Street entrance to the Meadows. We also have 420 hedgerow trees being delivered from the Woodland Trust, to further boost this hedgeline. That’s a heck of a lot of trees to plant, but many hands make light work! Please come along for the marathon planting session on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th November (times TBC). We have a further two dates the following week (2nd and 3rd of December) to finish the job.

To join the workparty, you will need to register as an HWT volunteer.  You can do this here.

Poppy Wilkins

Cycle Route at Bartonsham Meadows

Words: Jeremy Milln, City Cllr

Months ago I promised an update on the cycle route for this Newsletter and had expected by now to be able to share a draft design for consultation. The route past the Meadows is a strategic one, being the artery between the City Centre and Rotherwas and crucial to the effort to encourage active travel in Hereford and to facilitate NMiTE with growing student numbers.

Scheme development began about ten years ago when it became clear that dumping pedestrians and cyclists into the path of HGVs as they arrived off the new Canary Bridge onto Outfall Works Road was not ideal. Mark Edwards, the Council officer working on this at the time, has left and I have been dealing with Neil Batt (Programme Manager, Transport & Highways) who last year – in a meeting with Cllr John Harrington (then Cabinet member for infrastructure), agreed to apply some of the £600k Hereford Enterprise Zone active travel measures funding.  The idea was that this could be designed and delivered quickly alongside the £1m Quiet Routes ATMs. Consultants Project Centre Ltd were commissioned to do the design work and they were advised to build on Mark Edwards’ work for a scheme of on line improvements rather than building a new route across the middle of the Meadows since that had been consulted in March 2019 and not found favour. However it was left open as to whether consultants wished to look at a possible alternative scheme for a route round the edge of the Meadows, ie passing immediately to the west of Wyeside Cottages on Outfall Works Road. Whatever was done would have implications for the Wildlife Trust and Church Commissioners and very probably Eign Works and the Cottages too, so needed to be carefully designed and considered. A scheme of improvement for the nearby bit of Harold Street, which also lacks pavement or cycle lane, would also be designed, being part of this key route.

Initially delays in designing the scheme were blamed on Balfour Beatty for not coming up with info about where the power for the street lights went but over recent months efforts to move the project along have not been responded to.  I will continue to keep this in the spotlight and let everyone know when we have something to see.

Bird Survey – Record count for September!

Despite the drizzle, September’s bird count saw over 30 species recorded with the British Trust for Ornithology’s Bird Track, from a discreet reed bunting in the overgrown lower meadows (the free bird app Merlin is very useful!) to a buzzard, kestrel and a sparrow hawk hunting for their breakfast.

We (Dick, Bill and John) watched a pair of goosanders working the river either side of a little egret – interesting to see birds working together – but missed the greater spotted woodpecker that usually hunts here. (We only record birds seen during the visit.)

Here’s the full list: blackbird, blue tit, buzzard, carrion crow, chiffchaff, cormorant, dunnock, goldfinch, goosander, great- blue- and long-tailed tits, grey heron, house sparrow, jackdaw, kestrel, kingfisher, less black-backed gull, little egret, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, raven, reed bunting, robin, rook, song thrush, sparrowhawk, starling, stock dover , swallow, wood pigeons, wren.

Calling all Artists!

A plan is being hatched to create some Bartonsham Meadows T-shirts and cards for Christmas.  But first we need  some artwork!  We’ve left it rather late, but if anyone is feeling inspired, any beautiful meadow-themed designs that you would like to share will be gratefully received over the next month.

The Sylvia Short Educational Charity

This charity offers a grant to children to carry out fieldwork or other extracurricular educational activities.  This could include environmental or ecological work, and if you know a child who might be interested in centring a project on the Meadows, it would be a wonderful opportunity to contribute.  Perhaps a photography/art  portfolio documenting changes on the meadow, or a study of how a particular species of wildlife is responding to the restoration….? .

The charity offers a £500 grant for a child (or £1000 for a group of children). To apply you must be aged between 4 – 19, be  in need of financial assistance, and are attending a school or college in Herefordshire.  Applications for the grant must be made by the school or college

Initiative: Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s Nature Action Network

– a place to share, learn and take action with others for nature across the county

Words: Tracy Price

Our Nature Action Network is a chance for everyone interested in taking action to make changes across our county so that we can help to put nature into recovery. You can get together to share what is already happening or plan for the future, learn from the journeys others are taking or support fellow members on their journey and take action as a collective group to help put nature into recovery.

We aim to involve anyone who is interested in helping put nature into recovery through making local changes. This can be anything from a small area on a street to a whole village/town or patch of land. We know there is already some great work happening across Herefordshire and some great suggestions as to what could be done in the future.

If you are part of a group of people, either personally or through work, that would like to join our Nature Action Network then please get in touch with Tracy on 07903 069185 or email


Words: Mo Burns, Fobm, HWT City Branch and Tree Warden

Tuesday 3rd October | De Koffe Pot (upstairs), Left Bank

Event starts at 7pm with doors open from 6.30pm

We’ve got a great team coming in October to talk about their inspirational meadows restoration project at Mowley Woods, which Tony Norman led on and could be of considerable interest and relevance to FoBM and local members.

There will be a small charge of £3 to cover costs.

For more background info you can read: Mowley Wood Habitat Restoration Success Story 

Toxic Chemical Waste at Sutton Walls Hill Fort

Words: Ruth Stanier, Friends of the Earth

Meeting at Marden Community Centre

(Marden Primary Academy – HR1 3EW)

Thursday October 19th, 7 for 7.30 pm

There has been concern for many years that toxic waste and fumes have been leaking from the Sutton Walls site, threatening to contaminate the nearby air, land and ultimately the River Lugg.

The intention of this meeting is to hear from various experts their current state of knowledge and for them to have an opportunity to pool their expertise and to discuss the weathering and wildlife damage issues at this specific site. This process will be enhanced by comparing notes with other, fenced, chemical dump sites in Britain.

The meeting will seek to establish a consensus on necessary monitoring, official designations, public safety liability provisions and environmental and crop safety considerations.  There is also the question of whether climate change may lead to a worsening problem of water build-up inside the site leading to potential wall collapse, as happened dramatically at another site, Brofiscin Quarry, causing extensive pollution.

The meeting is for Herefordshire people who would like to discuss the current problems and future protection, to work together with environmental guardians forming a consensus way forward. All are welcome.

For background information please see PCBs: Forever chemicals – what lies beneath

Poppy Wilkins


The restoration of the Meadows isn’t always going to be a picture of beauty – as the ‘wild gem in the heart of heart of the city’, it’s always going to be a bit ‘scruffy, as natural landscapes are’. However, as Poppy Wilkins photographed this incredible shot of droplet-covered web, there are always going to be pockets of life, constantly changing, which as a community we’d love to see and hear about. Please do continue to send your Meadow pictures, sightings and news to us.

Best wishes,

Anna, Bill, Charlie, Dick, Gareth, Jen-May, Jeremy, Mo, Rhian, Ruth & Will

Summer 2023 Newsletter

As promised we’ve got a BUMPER of a newsletter for you – everything from events, updates and a Nettle Cupcake recipe:

  • HWT Site Management Plan
  • HWT Questionnaire
  • May Day Celebrations and FoBM Update
  • Recent Bird Species List
  • Why Is the River Wye So Important?
  • Wilder Hereford in Art & Poetry Events
  • FoBM Events & Nettle Recipe

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust: Site Management Plan

Words: Dave Hutton, of the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (HWT) have now signed a 25 year Lease with the Church Commissioners who own the site and have drawn up a draft plan for the management of Bartonsham Meadows to be agreed by the Commissioners.

HWT’s Primary Objective is to manage the site as a Nature Reserve to enhance and maintain biodiversity and to maintain public access for quiet enjoyment of the Natural Environment.

Dave Hutton (HWT)

The Trust has been working alongside the Friends of Bartonsham Meadows to produce a plan which aims to maintain the majority of informal paths around the site so that people can continue to use the site to enjoy the peaceful environment that the Meadows provide. 

We plan, over time, to restore the majority of the site to a floodplain grassland, rich in wildlife which will be managed using traditional methods including haymaking and grazing with cattle and sheep. In order for this to be achieved we will need to divert some of the currently used informal paths so that livestock and people can use the site safely. Over the next few months and years people will see some changes taking place on the Meadows including new signage and fencing and we will endeavour to let people know what is going on before it happens. Activities will include planting new and replacement trees and re-stocking hedges and restoring  ponds. We also plan to earmark an area within the Meadows as a natural succession experiment, where very little will be done and the current vegetation will be allowed to develop naturally. This will be a great opportunity to compare this with surrounding land which will be managed in a completely different way.

In the short term we are exploring ways to remove the majority of standing vegetation as part of the restoration of the Meadows. Ideally we would like to cut and bail and send it to a biodigester or composting site. This is currently proving problematic as we have yet to find someone who wants to take it!  It’s important that we try to remove the vegetation because we need to reduce fertility levels in the soil in order to successfully establish species rich grassland.

An important part of our management will be to record changes in wildlife on the meadows as time goes on, so anyone willing to help with monitoring of birds, plants and insects please get in touch via the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust website.

Dave Hutton (HWT)

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust is currently working on applications to the National Lottery Heritage Fund to provide staff and resources for on site management, education and community involvement and we will be seeking funding from other sources and working with the owners of the site on other stands of funding such as Biodiversity Net Gain and Carbon Credits.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Survey

Words: Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Earlier this year, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust took on the lease of the wonderful Bartonsham Meadows in Hereford and are beginning work to restore the site for wildlife and for people, creating a new urban nature reserve.

We’d love to take this opportunity to find out who visits the meadows already, who doesn’t, what might encourage you to visit more and what barriers you might face to visiting.

If you live in, or visit Hereford, we’d be so grateful if you could take five minutes to complete our short survey to help inform our plans:

May Day Celebrations and FoBM Update

Words: Anna Gundrey

What a wonderful turnout we had for our May Day celebration. Over 200 people gathered to celebrate our new nature reserve. The event was jointly organised by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (HWT) and Friends of Bartonsham Meadows (FoBM), and was the culmination of FoBM’s three year campaign to bring Bartonsham Meadows under favourable management to provide a haven for nature and an oasis of tranquility within the heart of the city for the people of Hereford.

FoBM convenor Ruth Westoby told celebrators: “Today is a dream come true. We have lobbied hard to secure the long term future of the Meadows and now it’s time to celebrate.” Ruth and ‘Green Woman’ Bex Huggett then led a procession to unveil a rare native black poplar on the Meadows. After the unveiling by local school children, Bartonsham resident Naomi Bell declared: “I started walking these fields in the 1940s and they have changed out of all recognition. I’m delighted by the restoration plans.”

As the new Reserve Manager David Hutton has set out above plans are now afoot to begin the process of restoration of the Meadows to a biodiverse floodplain grassland. FoBM are working closely with HWT to achieve the objectives of the emerging Management Plan, but this is a community project and we invite everyone to get involved. HWT have created a questionnaire to to find out what local residents want. It is already available online and hard copies will be distributed in a little over a week. The leaflet includes further details on how to get involved through HWT. 

Please get in touch with Mo Burns if you would be willing to deliver some leaflets

FoBM are also carrying out a series of events on the Meadows. In May we had a balsam bash on the land behind the sewage works, and we ran a family-friendly bird watch in June. We have an open meeting coming up at which HWT are presenting their management plan (26 June), and we’ve got an extra balsam bash (25 June) and a butterfly count and picnic (16 July). This is part of a nationwide count run by Butterfly Conservation (BC), which is aimed at helping BC assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies we see. Looking further ahead to National Tree Week at the end of November, we will be putting a call out for volunteers to help with hedge planting. We’ve got loads of trees to plant, and this will be an exciting moment as we can finally start to take active steps towards the rebirth of Bartonsham Meadows. All these events are listed below – get them in your diary!

Tree-Mendous Fundraising

In March this year we successfully applied for a grant from Hereford Council’s Green the City fund. We were awarded the maximum amount of £5,000, which we will use to buy trees to replenish and restore the hedgerows on the Meadows. We aim to replant at least 250m of hedgerow.

And, more good news! The Woodland Trust will be delivering a pack of 420 trees in November as part of their ‘Free Trees for Schools and Communities’ initiative.

All these trees will be planted in existing hedge lines in November/December. Get in touch to get involved in tree planting.


Words: Bill Laws

The family bird event in June yielded some interesting species, with both sedge and willow warbler identified as well as reed bunting and red kite.  Whitethroat have also been seen on several occasions this month, and a stone chat was spotted calling to its young. We now have a count of 64 species, with the mature oak trees on the line of the Old Hopyward Field and tall vegetation teeming with bird activity.  More hedgerows, and increased plant diversity will only help to increase this abundance.

Species List:

black headed gullgoldcrestlinnetsand martin
blackbirdgoldfinchlittle egretsedge warbler
blackcapgoosanderlong-tailed titsiskin
blue titgreat titmagpieskylark
buzzardgreater spotted woodpecker mallardsong thrush
canada goosegreenfinchmandarin ducksparrow hawk 
carrion crowgrey heronmistle thrushstarling
chaffinchgrey wagtailmoorhenstock dove
chiffchaff herring gullmute swanstonechat
coal tithobbynuthatchswallow 
collared dovehouse martinpheasantswift
common sandpiperhouse sparrowpied wagtailtree creeper
cormorantjackdawred kitewhitethroat
dunnockjayreed buntingwillow warbler 
feral pigeonkingfisherrobinwood pigeon
garden warblerlesser black-backed gullrookwren

Balsam Bashing

There was a great turnout for the May Balsam Bash. The focus of activity was the area behind the sewage works, and many square metres of himalayan balsam plants were crushed, bashed, flailed and trampled. Carrying out this work early in the season will hopefully give native plants such as reed canary grass, reeds and willow that usually get out-competed by the balsam, a chance to establish. There is another ‘bash’ planned on 25th June to build on the good work so far achieved in our third year of bashing balsam.

This project is for everyone and we look forward to taking it forward as a community.

The River Wye

Why is the Wye so important?

Listen to Jamie Audsley, HWT CEO and Friends of the Upper Wye explain why.

River Wye catchment area landowners, businesses and clubs may have legal claim for damages against chicken producers for pollution.

Words: Law firm Leigh Day

Law firm Leigh Day is investigating the potential for a civil claim against chicken producers whose farming on an industrial scale is polluting the water quality of the River Wye.

Landowners, businesses, wildlife organisations and clubs such as swimming, angling and water sports organisations may have the right to use the watercourse and the right to receive water in its natural state without undue interference in its quality or quantity.

The civil claim is likely to allege that farming for poultry producers such as Avara and Noble Foods is raising phosphorous levels in the River Wye, causing algae blooms which in turn cause biodiversity loss. The entitlement to clean free-flowing water courses means the landowners may have, among other potential claims, a nuisance claim against the chicken producers.

The civil claim is being investigated by a team led by Leigh Day partner Oliver Holland who said:

“The pollution of the River Wye has reached such an extent that some predict it will suffer irreversible harm within a couple of years. We believe poultry producers have a case to answer for their role in bringing about this deplorable situation. We urge all those who think they may have been impacted by this urgent issue to contact us.”

— Oliver Holland, Leigh Day

“The pollution of the River Wye has reached such an extent that some predict it will suffer irreversible harm within a couple of years. We believe poultry producers have a case to answer for their role in bringing about this deplorable situation. We urge all those who think they may have been impacted by this urgent issue to contact us.”

Anyone who thinks they might have been affected in the way described can contact Nicholas Smith at Leigh Day on or call 020 7650 1200.

Wilder Hereford in Art & Poetry

Words: Richard Bevin

Local artists and poets have been exploring the nature reserves around Hereford with a special focus on the restoration of the Yazor Brook. Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s City Branch have been hard at work for six years cleaning up and improving this brook system which runs through the heart of the city. All this effort is bearing fruit, with much beauty and nature to discover as you walk its banks at any time of year.

Wilder Hereford in Art & Poetry is a partnership between the Apple Store Gallery, City Branch and artist Richard Bavin. We are putting on a gallery show and free public events suitable for all ages. You are warmly welcome to join us.

Our programme begins with a Pop Up Exhibition in High Town on Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July, and we are linking up with the Save the Wye Festival on Castle Green on the Saturday. Call in to say hello, find out more about the Yazor Brook restoration, enjoy our art and poetry and pick up a postcard with details of all our events.

Wilder Hereford Dates

30th June – 1st July 10am – 4pm

Pop Up Shop at 4 Gomond Street in Hereford’s High Town with displays about the Yazor Brook restoration alongside art and poetry

1st July

Save the Wye Festival on Castle Green

12th July – 12th August

Exhibition at Apple Store Gallery

Sat 15th July, 2 – 3.30pm 

Private View – contact the gallery for an invitation

Sun 23rd July, 11am – 3pm 

Meet the Team at the Apple Store Gallery – gazebos with pop up art & poetry, information about the Wildlife Trust’s work, 2pm short guided walk to see nearby sections of the brook

Sun 30th July, 11am – 3pm 

Meet the Team in Moor Park near The Range, gazebos with pop up art & poetry, stream dipping, Wildplay, information about the Wildlife Trust’s work, 2pm short guided walk to see nearby sections of the brook

Tue 1st August, 7pm

Poetry Event at Apple Store Gallery, small entry charge £5 covering light refreshments, tickets from gallery

FoBM Events

On Thursday 15th June we had the first event with Jenny Cashmore – delightful and heart-warming!

Risograph workshop with Jess Bugler

Wednesday 21 June 13.00 – 15.00

Book through

Foraging with Jenny Cashmore and Sara-Marie Senior

Thursday 22 June 12.30 – 14.30

Book through

Image: Dock Eaten by Dock Beetle, Jim Stevenson (taken on the ‘Explore’ part of Jenny and Sara’s events)

Balsam Bash

Sunday 25 June 14.00 till you drop

Meet at Canary Bridge.

Wear long trousers and long sleeves.

Fobm Open Meeting

Monday 26 June 19.30

The Barrels function room.

Short business meeting followed by Dave Hutton’s presentation on HWT’s management plan.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Strategy Launch:

A Wilder Herefordshire – More Nature Everywhere

Tuesday 27 June 18.00

Join the HWT strategy event where Ruth will say a few words.

HWT say, “Join us to hear about the direction we’re now heading in and reflections from those we’ll be working with – farmers, young adults, landowners, action takers and more! Everyone attending will also be invited to participate.”

Fobm HWT’s Wilder Artist and Poets group

in partnership with HWT City branch

Friday 30 and Saturday 1 July  10.00 – 16.00

Gomond Street. Pop in and check out our vision and fill in the HWT questionnaire.

Save the Wye

Saturday 1 July 12.30 – 16.30

Castle Green

Find out more about our River and what we can do to save it.

Big Butterfly Count and Picnic

Sunday 16 July 14.00

Meet at Green Street entrance

Choose a spot on the Meadows to watch for 15 minutes – we can provide spotter charts. Then regroup for a picnic. We could make this an annual event and monitor the success of the developing habitats as the years progress.

And last but not least let’s eat the Meadows!

Nettle Cupcakes

Makes 12

Recipe taken from ‘Forage: Wild Plants to Gather, Cook and Eat’ by Liz Knight

“I added lemon cream cheese frosting because it made them less stodgy, more yummy”.

Fran Morgan
• 75 nettles• 120g sugar
• 100g plain yoghurt• 2 free-range organic eggs
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon• 250g self-raising flour
• 120g butter• 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 120℃, 250°F, gas mark 1/2
  2. Plunge the nettles into a bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds, straining them immediately into a bowl of ice-cold water. Squeeze out the water from the leaves and blend in a food processor with the yoghurt, lemon zest and juice until smooth. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar, and slowly add the eggs, flour and baking powder. Fold together and finally and the nettle/yogurt mix.
  3. Pour into muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes bounce back when gently pressed.
The Nettle Cupcakes proved popular on the refreshments stall on 1st May!

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Spring 2023 Newsletter


Herefordshire Wildlife Trust sign long lease with Church Commissioners to create a floodplain meadow nature reserve at Bartonsham Meadows. Read on for the details…


Words: Bill Laws

The signing of the 25-year lease between the Church Commissioners, owners of Bartonsham Meadows, and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has been welcomed by Friends of Bartonsham Meadows (FoBM).

FoBM, which organised several community consultations and wildlife surveys at the site, had campaigned for the Meadows to be returned to a wild-life friendly, floodplain meadow since the catastrophic floods of 2020/2021.

FoBM’s Ruth Westoby: “We are campaigning for the restoration of the floodplain along with the traditional hedgerows and ponds which would mitigate the effects of the Wye flooding and significantly reduce the carbon footprint here.“

She added: “Our focus has been to put biodiversity at the forefront – to speak on behalf of endangered plantlife and animal life – and we are delighted to see tentative signs of improvement.” (Skylarks returned to the Meadows last year after a long absence.)

FoBM’s immediate brief has been fulfilled in securing the long-term future of this site and they will turn to supporting the Trust going forward. Fobm will also keep a watching brief on who benefits from the ‘environmental uplift’, which will be all the more significant in the light of the Meadows lying fallow and unmanaged over the last two years leading to an explosion of dock and thistle.  “Our community surveys suggest that people would be unhappy if the benefits, accrued from the carbon capture, were not put to good use within the parish,”  said Ruth.

For more information contact

SAVE THE DATE - May Day celebrations

Please come and celebrate this unprecedented success with us on May 1st

Pop the date in your diary, probably a bit of tree planting and cider and savouries, maybe 2-4pm with a programme of events throughout the day on the Meadows. Working on that plan now!

Can you help us? Set up, bake cakes, tidy up?
Please email Ruth at

Wild at heart and scruffy chances: the Fobm Vision

Words: Anna Gundrey
Images: Laura French-Jones; Gareth Dart

Natural landscapes are scruffy places with tussocky grassland, sprawling scrub and broken trees. Dead wood lies where it lands amongst the leaf litter and fallen apples. Biodiversity thrives where there is a variety of different habitats and structures, and an abundance of different food sources and microclimates. The uniformity of traditionally managed gardens and conventional agriculture leaves no space for this. A tidy verge or a closely trimmed lawn has no seeds or nectar and no natural cover to hide in.

The Meadows at the moment are a ‘mess’ with a rank sward of rotting docks and thistles.  But  look what that unkempt land has attracted – so many people have been excited to see a barn own quartering the fields this month. The tall vegetation has provided cover for voles and this in turn has brought the predators. This is so exciting, not just because barn owls are now very rare, but because it provides a ray of hope that if nature is given half a chance it will take it and return to our barren countryside.

The current state of the Meadows is not ideal but it is at a sweet spot where it is still relatively open but provides some structure for ground dwelling animals to thrive. If left unmanaged it will get denser and ranker and less diverse and gradually succeed to scrub. This is where extensive agriculture is so important. The grazing of animals, and/or periodic mowing mimics the effect of the large herbivores of prehistory, making open spaces and disturbed ground which creates diverse habitat niches and allows less competitive plants a chance to set seed.

Once the fields are returned to grassland and traditionally managed as floodplain meadows, they will provide a sustainable structurally diverse and species rich habitat in which nature can thrive. But it won’t be tidy – it will be wild and wonderful and we will be able to celebrate that we have made space for nature right in the heart of the City.


Dwrcymru Welsh Water updated us on February 24 2023 that the previously announced works are to be reduced. This from them:

“We wrote to you in November regarding the work which we were going to be carrying at both Eign and Rotherwas waste treatment works to remove a higher proportion of phosphorous from the treated water before returning it safely back to the river Wye. Since then, further investigations have been made and it was discovered that by improving the current dosing on at Eign treatment works, we could reduce the phosphorus level from our waste water treatment works whilst doing less intrusive work.

 “Therefore, we’re currently finalising the details of the new plan and will be reducing the working area needed. We will write to you again once the working area and start date has been confirmed.”


Words: Bill Laws

Birders and bird watchers are delighted by the news that The Meadows will be managed as a reserve. Recent count included:

Black bird 11
Blue tit 3
Canada geese 3
Chiff chaff 6
Cormorant 1
Carrion Crow 10+
Dunnock 2
Goosander 5
Great tit 1
Great spotted woodpecker 1
Long tailed tit 5
Lesser black backed gull 4
Mallard 26
Magpie 6
Moorhen 2
Pheasant 1
Robin 5
Song thrush 2
Wren 14
Wood pigeon 35+


• April 23 2023 2pm, Litterpick along river behind treatment works

• May 1 2023, Celebration of our new nature reserve! Details TBC

• May 21 2023, Balsam bash

• May 24-25 2023, Floodplain Meadows Partnership Conference:


That’s all from us this for now, watch out for updates on the May 1st Celebration… In the meantime, please continue to send us photos and news of the meadows.

Best wishes,

Anna, Bill, Charlie, Dick, Gareth, Jen-May, Jeremy, Mo, Rhian, Ruth & Will

Winter 2022 Newsletter

Hello and welcome to our latest newsletter. In case you’ve been missing us we have now moved to quarterly newsletters.


As yet, unfortunately, the lease has not been signed. The Church Commissioners, who own Bartonsham Meadows, have agreed to lease the land to Herefordshire Wildlife Trust for twenty-five years. However, the signing of the lease has proven rather elusive. The Church Commissioners assured us that they have completed the lease for their part and hope it will be signed by the end of the week. We will be sure to share the announcement as soon as we hear.

Gareth Dart
Jobie Hoar


HWT is preparing to take on the lease and nurture the land in the interests of plants, animals and people. The weed burden is such that they are considering spraying and lightly ploughing to achieve floodplain meadow reversion.

The Friends group have campaigned tirelessly for the past three years for the best long term outcome for the meadows in terms of benefits to plants, people and environment. We do not consider spraying to be an optimum strategy for land management. We regret that the lack of management by the Church Commissioners over the last two years has led to a deplorable weed burden that is unlikely to be alleviated through non-chemical means.
Sara Ingram – Yellow Fieldcap


Check out Will’s map! Here are the hedges and ponds as they used to be and as we would love to see them restored. This would increase habitat diversity and provide navigational routes and wildlife corridors for ground-dwelling animals and bats.

Will Steel. Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database rights 2022


There are developments afoot at the sewage treatment works. Welsh Water are working with their ecological consultants, Arup on the project. They have provided us with the following update to share in our newsletter.

Work at Eign WwTW – Ecology

Update: 2nd November 2022

Eign Wastewater Treatment Works is responsible for treating the wastewater it receives from those living in the town of Hereford and surrounding catchment area, before returning it safely to the watercourse.

There are a number of factors which contribute to pollution levels in rivers which are not in the control of the water industry. Our modelling on the River Wye for example shows that our assets are responsible for between 25 - 33% of the phosphorus in the main water bodies, with Combined Storm Overflows (CSO) only responsible for 2%. The remainder is caused by other factors such as urban surface water drainage, misconnected drains, agricultural run-off and animal faeces as well as private septic tanks.

However, we recognise that there is more that we can do to help keep our contribution to the absolute minimum. That is why over the next year we’ll be carrying some work at both Eign and Rotherwas waste treatment works to remove a higher proportion of phosphorus from the treated water before returning it safely back to the river Wye.

What we will be doing?

From the middle of November until May 2024, we’ll be carrying out some work at Eign Wastewater Treatment Works. This will include building new pumping stations, installing screen chambers which will remove heavy particles from our waste water, and introducing an enhanced treatment process which will remove a higher proportion of phosphorus from the treated wastewater.

We have been working closely with an ecologist and a number of environmental surveys have been carried out within the area over recent months, including:

•   Phase 1 Habitat

•   Great Crested Newt

•   Invasive Species

•   Badger and bait marking (to establish badger territories)

•   Water vole

•   Fish habitat assessment and vibration assessments

•   Bats

•   Otter

•   Dormouse

We have also applied for several licenses, which will enable us to carry out our enabling and main construction works.. 

As part of our enabling work, at the start of the project we will need to carry out some vegetation clearance between our site and the river. The vegetation is located in between the two security fences surrounding the treatment works just north of the services bridge and includes the removal of:

·   3 mature yew

·   2 mature Scots pine

·   1 semi-mature Scots pine

·   4 semi-mature conifer

·   1 mature holly

·   1 semi-mature red cedar

·   Some scrub and ground cover

We are currently working on a comprehensive biodiversity enhancement plan and will share this with the Friends of Bartonsham meadows for comment as soon as it’s ready.
Giles King-Salter, Will Watson, Anna Gundrey and Charlie Arthur


Words: Anna Gundrey

Still no news on the lease, but let’s be optimistic and focus on the When and not the If.  Our survey this summer revealed that a third of respondents would be interested in volunteering to restore the meadows.  

HWT offers a multitude of volunteering opportunities, with something to suit all interests and abilities, from wildlife surveys to practical work parties. Current opportunities include harvest mouse surveying (with training included), tending the wellbeing garden at Birches Farm and, if you are feeling really energetic, being a repair and maintenance volunteer at Queenswood. More locally, HWT City Branch are involved in numerous projects with volunteering opportunities across Hereford, such as the  Yazor Brooks’ Restoration Project and at  the city’s three nature reserves at Wyevale Woods, Hampton Park Road and Lugg Meadows.  Fingers crossed there will soon be four!

At Bartonsham, help will be needed with practical work such as gate building, tree planting and hedge laying. If poking around in a quadrat is your bag, ongoing botanical monitoring will be required to gauge the success of habitat restoration measures. There are likely to be more creative opportunities too: designing interpretation boards or art installations for example.

I got my first job through volunteering with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust (not to mention meeting loads of wonderful new friends), so I am slightly biased, but for me it’s hard to beat spending time outside working with a like-minded group of people to improve the environment.

We will be putting a call out for volunteers in the Newsletter when the big moment comes, but in the meantime, if you would like to get involved with HWT’s  City Branch, email or for countywide volunteer opportunities with HWT as a whole, go to 


Talking of volunteering, pop into the shiny new HWT charity shop on Church Street to buy gifts for yourself or others, drop off donations of clothes (they are particularly keen for women’s clothes so get sorting out your cupboards) or consider volunteering your time in the shop (if being inside and dry is your volunteering thing).


Words: Will Watson

The River Wye from Bartonsham Farm, October 2022  © Will Watson

On 22nd September this year Giles King-Salter and Will Watson conducted an aquatic invertebrate survey of the River Wye at Bartonsham Farm and further downstream just below the footbridge.  This coincided with the low water levels which enable us to safely reach the riffles and the overhanging vegetation where the majority of the invertebrates will be found.  At the footbridge site we found 17 species of aquatic invertebrate and 13 species upstream on the old farm side with 24 aquatic invertebrates species in total found including the 2 sections (see Tables below).    We were pleasantly surprised to find a reasonable range of mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies.  At Bartonsham Farm we found the nationally scarce (provisionally RDB 2) Yellow Mayfly Potamanthus luteus.  There are a scattering of records from the Rivers Usk and Taff in Wales and from the River Teme in Worcestershire but surveys in the River Wye undertaken in 1995 by the Environment Agency found it be widely distributed in the middle on reaches of the river.  According to the Environment Agency this species may now be spreading.  In addition to the Yellow Mayfly we found the rare long-toed water beetle Pomatinus substriatus. It is listed as Nationally Vulnerable.   It has only been recorded at about 30 sites in Britain over the last 40 years.   There are records for this species from the River Wye from Symonds Yat, but not from Hereford. 

In many respects the assemblages of aquatic invertebrates found at Bartonsham was perplexing because we had a reasonable range of the species which are considered sensitive to pollution but some of the species that are typically super abundant were missing from the samples.  This included the Freshwater Shrimp Gammarus pulex/fossarum which in a 3-minute quick sample can be found in the thousands ( Robert Aquilina, Freshwater Ecologist).  The only species of shrimp found was the North American shrimp Crangonygx sp.  It was suggested ( Robert Aquilina) that a toxic chemical maybe implicated in its decline, perhaps a chemical that interferes with the respiratory system in Gammarus; Gammaridae are identified as strong indicators of pesticide pollution. 

A long-toed Water Beetle Potaminatus substriatus found in the River Wye at Bartonsham Farm on 25th September 2022 © Will Watson
FamilySpeciesCommon name
DryopidaePomatinus substriatusa long-toed water beetle
LymnaeidaeRadix balthicaWandering Snail
TateidaePotamopyrgus antipodarumJenkin’s Spire Shell
PlanorbidaeGyraulus albusWhite Ramshorn
BithyniidaeBithynia tentaculataCommon Bithynia
EphemeridaeEphemera danicaa mayfly
CalopterygidaeCalopteryx splendensBanded Demoiselle
PotamanthidaePotamanthus luteusYellow mayfly
HydropsychidaeHydropsyche contubernalisa caddisfly
AsellidaeAsellus aquaticusTwo-spotted Water-hoglouse
SericostomatidaeSericostoma personatuma caddisfly
LeuctridaeLeuctra fuscaa stonefly
CrangonyctidaeCrangonyx pseudogracilis/floridanusa shrimp
Table 1 Aquatic Invertebrates in the River Wye at Bartonsham Farm 25th September 2022
The Yellow Mayfly Potamanthus luteus.  Photo Courtesy of Buglife
FamilySpeciesCommon Name
CalopterygidaeCalopteryx splendensBanded Demoiselle
PlatycnemididaePlatycnemis pennipesWhite-legged Damselfly
ElmidaeElmidae sp.a riffle beetle
BithyniidaeBithynia tentaculataCommon Bithynia
LeuctridaeLeuctra fuscaa stonefly
HeptageniidaeHeptageniidae sp.a mayfly
BaetidaeBaetis scambus/fuscatusa mayfly
AphelocheiridaeAphelocheirus aestivalisRiver Saucer Bug
PhysidaePhysella sp.a bladder snail
HydropsychidaeHydropsyche pellucidulaa caddisfly
PolycentropodidaePolycentropus sp.a caddisfly
HydropsychidaeCheumatopsyche lepidaa caddisfly
CrangonyctidaeCrangonyx pseudogracilis/floridanusa shrimp
LeptoceridaeLeptocerus interruptusa caddisfly
SphaeriidaeSphaerium corneumHorny Orb Mussel
ErpobdellidaeErpobdella octoculataa leech
LymnaeidaeRadix balthicaWandering Snail
Table 2 Aquatic Invertebrates in the River Wye at Bartonsham Footbridge 25th September 2022


Words: Bill Laws

Having missed a month, we were back with a quick visit on a sunny November morning with the river in full spate. Kestrel, buzzard and a fly-by from a red kite have been seen on the Meadows recently. This morning we saw:

Black-headed gull (1)
Blackbirds (5)
Blue tits (40)
Canada geese (20 flying south in V formation)
Carrion crows (10+)
Chaffinch (2)
Chiffchaff (1)
Cormorant (2 - a river bird still persecuted for its diet)
Great spotted woodpecker (1)
Great tit (5)
Grey heron (1)
Lesser black backed gull (5+)
Magpie (4)
Mallard (25)
Mistle thrush (1)
Mute swan (5)
Pheasant (1)
Pied wagtail (1)
Robin (3)
Sparrowhawk (1)
Woodpigeon (24)
Wren (5)

There were three goosanders (also persecuted for their diet!) up river too.  Let us know what you’ve seen?


Words: Dick Jones

Four hundred and sixty-six households responded to the survey. Key findings are posted here. 

Q1       414 (89%) of 466 respondents use the Meadows.

Q2       412 (88%) would use the Meadows more if restored to a wildflower meadow.

Q3        15 different uses were listed; 236 people indicated more than one purpose.

Q4       373 (90%) of people who use the Meadows arrive on foot. 64 (15%) also use other modes of transport.
Q5         392 (95%) agreed with temporarily restricting access to certain areas for the purpose of environmental management
Q7       304 (65%) respondents agreed that improving access would be beneficial.

Q8       The most frequent suggestions for improving access to the Meadows were:

  • Removal of kissing gates and installation of gates suitable for access by buggies, wheelchairs, and people with mobility issues
  • Self-closing gates to ensure containment of livestock


  • Widening, levelling and upgrading of paths for easier access
  • Installing boardwalks in wetter areas
  • Installing a ramp at the junction of the path with Outfall Road

Q10-12 Making the Meadows a nature reserve could attract 117 of the respondents to become Herefordshire Wildlife Trust members.

Q13  167 indicated an interest in being new volunteers for FoBM and/or HWT.

Q14    156 (33%) of respondents would be prepared to make financial donations.

Q16   Only 6% of respondents were under 35.

Q17    6% of respondents who use the Meadows have a disability compared with 25% who reported not using the meadows.

Q21    22% of those who participated in the survey added comments:

  • 62% of the comments were highly supportive of work done by FoBM, the importance of developing the Meadows and their management by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust
  • 25% of the comments were in relation to earlier questions including volunteering, making donations, access and signage
  • 5% of the comments queried the need for inclusion of questions about gender, religion and ethnicity
  • Other comments:
  1. Possibility of renewable energy – solar panels and ground source
  2. Reinstatement of ponds, the withy, orchards and trees
  3. An offer of help with artwork and design
  4. Preference for not having livestock
  5. A question raised on flood mitigation
  6. Importance of maintaining privacy of Park Street gardens which back on to the Meadows
  7. Importance of linking with Save the Wye Campaign
  8. Idea of designation of River Wye as swimming area to prevent pollution
  9. Comments on Church Commission


HWT City Branch AGM December 8 7.00 - 8.30pm Kindle Centre

Speaker: Will Watson

Bye bye Scout Hut December 11 4.00 - 8.00pm
Bartonsham History Group is joining the Community Association (JABA) to mark the final days of the Scout Hut with a Christmas party.

Twelfth Night Wassail Friday January 6 2023 6.00 - 7.00pm
Bartonsham History Group and the Friend’s Group join forces for a Moot Point Wassail. Expect a noisy family procession, apple and cider cups by a fire pit, and music and mayhem that will guarantee a great year in 2023!


That’s all from us this quarter. We wish you a very merry festive period. Stay warm, send us photos and news of the meadows. Please report flooding to us when it happens but obviously stay safe - flood water kills.

Best wishes,

Anna, Bill, Charlie, Dick, Gareth, Jen-May, Jeremy, Mo, Ruth & Will