March 2022 Newsletter

With the clocks going forward, and recent warm sunshine, spring seems to have sprung and we welcome you to the current edition of the Friends of Bartonsham Meadows newsletter.

Photo Credit: Elaine Underwood

Negotiations between Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and the Church Commissioners are ongoing. 

Ruth’s discussion of the work of FoBM with the HWT’s Conservation Committee was apparently well received. 


For anyone who wasn’t able to attend the recent online discussion ‘Grassland Carbon – restoration, creation and management practices that affect carbon sequestration in grasslands’, a recording of the webinar is now available on the Plantlife YouTube Channel here. Two experts took part, Penny Anderson BSc., MSc., CEcol, FCIEEM, Ecologist, drew on her 2021 review on this topic. ‘Carbon and ecosystems: restoration and creation to capture carbon’ also focused on addressing the biodiversity crisis and incorporating other ecosystem services. 

Phil Wilson PhD MCIEEM, Ecologist and Devon farmer, talked about data he is publishing from over 1400 NE and landowner grassland sites across the UK. This includes analyses of soil nutrients and soil carbon over different management systems and grassland condition status.

Hosted by Plantlife for the wider GRCF Meadow Makers partnership around the country, it was chaired by Caroline Hanks of Herefordshire Meadows, and in her words, “fits well with our series “Meadows, Mosaics and Mitigating climate change”.  

Photo Credit: Ruth Westoby


Outside the Scout Hut, on the Green off Eign Road, over ninety mums, dads, children, grandparents and teddy bears gather for a photo shoot. It’s June 1953 and they’re celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. 

Judith Morgan (nee Broad) from Whitecross was there that day. “We were holding a children’s party in Park Street for the Queen’s Coronation. But when it rained we beat a hasty retreat to Scout’s Corner.” 

The street party, organised by Mrs A Barber with singing and dancing provided by a Mr Chambers’ radiogram, was officially opened by Hereford United’s Charlie Thompson. 

Bartonsham History Group will host a Pop Up History Day – FoBM will be there – when they recreate the historic parish picture during the Queens Jubilee Bank Holiday on Friday, June 3. 


Check out the images of the meadows as they were in 1933…


5 April at 7.30pm. Regenerative Farming Project at Knepp. Join this online talk to hear Herefordshire-born Russ Carrington discuss regenerative farming at Knepp and how nature recovery and the creation of habitat networks can work in harmony with food production. This talk will be of interest and relevance to Herefordshire farmers and non-farmers alike.  Hosted by the City Branch of  the Wildlife Trust. 

For more information and booking click here. 
Peacock butterfly by John Underwood


The meadows have lain fallow for a year and a half now. We are keen to record changes to the flora and fauna in this time. Hence our monthly bird survey.

Dick Jones and Bill Laws are on the case and spotted:

BlackbirdNuthatchLesser black-backed gull
Grey wagtailMute swanGreat spotted woodpecker (heard)
Blue titMistle thrushMoorhen
GoldcrestCormorantGreat tit
Chiffchaff (heard)RobinMallard
CrowWoodpigeonHerring gull
House sparrow
List of birds spotted (and heard) on the 21st March 2022
Dick said, ‘Good to see nuthatch, greenfinch, grey wagtail and goldcrest and 14 goosander in total spotted.’ 25 species in total. Gareth noted, ‘Down one from last month: hope you’re not losing your touch boys…’


Please get let us know any of your sightings of flora, fauna and floods. Send to Elaine let us know that in March she recorded the first sightings of butterflies, including Peacock, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, and Large White.

Photo credit: Ruth Patrick


Last summer we placed reptile mats along the Row Ditch but alas found nothing bar snails and mice. This spring we will survey the riverbank, particularly behind the treatment works. We’ll lay the mats this coming Sunday.

Meet at 2pm by the Green Street entrance to the Meadows. 


14 MAY at Bishops Meadows, St. James’ Community Association balsam bash and litter pick on Saturday May 14th from 10.30 at Bishop’s Meadow riverbank, King Georges Field at Victoria Bridge.  See

22 MAY  at Bartonsham Meadows, Friends Working Group, meet at Green Street entrance to Meadows, 2pm. 

3 JUNE  afternoon. Bartonsham History Group will commemorate this street party from 1953. We’ll be there to wax lyrical about floodplain restoration. And eat cake.

12 JUNE  at Bartonsham Meadows, Friends Working Group, meet at Green Street entrance to Meadows, 2pm.

25 JUNE  Wye Campaign (time and place TBC): update on Save the Wye Campaign. Hosted by the Hereford and South Herefordshire Labour Party.*

*Ruth swam from the bassom on Sunday gone and confirms the river is pretty stinky. And cold.


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

Best wishes,

Anna, Bill, Charlie, Chloe, Dick, Gareth, Jeremy, Mo, Rhys, Ruth & Will