April 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to our April newsletter!


The Friends group is pleased to report that negotiations are continuing between the land owners, the Church Commissioners, and Herefordshire WIldlife Trust (HWT) as the prospective tenant. Discussions on the terms for a long lease are getting into the fine detail of biodiversity net gain and carbon credits and will take some time to conclude-  we hope, with the HWT as the incoming tenant. HWT are currently drawing up an application for a mid-tier stewardship scheme. This would fund, in the long-term, a species-rich floodplain meadow restoration scheme which would initially see arable reversion take place probably next year. Lottery funding will also be sourced as an important income stream.. Dŵr Cymru, Welsh Water, are also interested in supporting the project in the interests of water purification and natural flood management. 

This is all very exciting but nothing will change on the ground in the next year. This coming year will see the continued gentle ‘rewilding’ from an arable or fallow basis, and the Friends group will continue to carry out baseline surveys of flora and fauna this year, and encourage the landowners to top the flourishing weeds.  

In the medium term, the Wildlife Trust’s HWT’s management plan would see floodplain restoration and perhaps scrapes. In the longer term it may be possible to restore ponds and wetlands.

What can we do?

Delight in this stunning resource on our doorsteps and perhaps help get rid of the balsam. See below for dates of balsam bashing.

Shots below by Lisa Stevens and Elaine Underwoood.


We’ve laid the mats and are checking them with huge excitement. You’re welcome to check them yourselves and report your findings. Check the instructions in the poster and please report your findings on this form.
Plotting the reptile mats by Bill Laws


Blue tit 5
Great tit 6
Long-tailed tit 3
House Martin 3
Swallow 1
Robin 6
Crow 8
Mallard 20
Goosander 5
Grey heron 1
Magpie 5
Mute swan 1
Greater spotted woodpecker 1
Blackcap 3
Goldcrest 1
Wood pigeon 32
Wren 10
Greenfinch 2
Collared dove 2
Song thrush 1
Chiff chaff 2
Willow warbler 1
Lesser-black backed gull 9
Jackdaw 1
Blackbird 6
Moorhen 1
House sparrow 3
Bird survey for April

“We were surprised not to hear skylarks which had been calling intermittently. Hoping this is no more than a temporary absence.”

Dick and Bill


JABA balsam and litter picking event

  • 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 http://www.jaba.org.uk/.

Friends’ group balsam bashes

We are in the process of checking permissions with the landowners and Natural England to hold public balsam bashing events. If we can get the paperwork in place please join us!

  • 22 May at Bartonsham Meadows, Friends Working Group, meet at Green Street entrance to Meadows, 2pm. 
  • 12 June at Bartonsham Meadows, Friends Working Group, meet at Green Street entrance to Meadows, 2pm.

AONB’S Invasive Species Week

Check out the Wye Valley’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)’s detail on Invasive Species Week here 

Bartonsham History Group

  • 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.
  • Check out their website here

Save the Wye

Events are planned along the length of the Wye on the second weekend of July. Watch this space… 

Docs getting off to a healthy start by Ruth Westoby


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