July 2022 Newsletter


Welcome to our July newsletter. With the mercury recently nudging towards 40℃ and a heap of responses to the current usage survey piling up to mull over, it’s time to check in with what has been happening on, or in regard to, Bartonsham Meadows.

Please do fill in our survey over the next few days and join us and our speakers on August 22 for our AGM or next week for the History Group walk.


Discussions continue between the Church Commissioners and Herefordshire Wildlife Trust on the details of a long-term lease. No details yet but we hope to have positive news in the next few months. Fingers crossed.

Our requests to the Church Commissioners to cut and carry the weeds off site have remained unanswered. The local ward councilor, Jeremy Milln, has continued to push for action from the Commissioners on the weeds and the flood damaged gates. Should Herefordshire Wildlife Trust take on the site they would knock back the weeds this Autumn. 

Concerns have been expressed to us abut the fire to the meadows given the amount of tinder dry vegetation. Bill has been in touch with the local police who recommended raising the matter with the landowners and cutting a perimeter fire break. He has also asked Balfour Beatty, who are responsible for cutting the rights of way, to cut the rights of way. Jeremy has raised the matter with the Church Commissioners who have promised a full response next week. In the meantime – no bonfires or BBQs please!

 Photo: Jeremy Miln

We have been blown away by the number and variety of responses to our survey. Last few days to fill it in!

We are doing this both to improve our own understanding of current local usage and thoughts regarding the meadows, and also to generate data to help Herefordshire Wildlife Trust apply for funding to transform the site into a traditionally managed floodplain meadow. To apply for funding from organisations like the National Lottery we need to know how people use the meadows and what concerns them. The ‘diversity’ questions tell us how demographics shape appreciation of the Meadows and are required for funding application.
Tortoiseshell on Ragwort. Photo: Elaine Underwood
Want to know more about floodplain meadows?

Check out the recording of this event that we held at the end of last year. There is more information here, and in the resources on the Floodplain Meadow Partnership site here.


Bartonsham History Group Walk Tuesday!
Thistle seed. Photo: Ruth Westoby

We’re holding an AGM on 22 August at the Scout Hut. Come along for cake from 7pm, we’ll razz through a business meeting at 7.30pm with an update on our project and the survey results.

On completion of business, Caroline Hanks, Herefordshire Meadows, will speak about meadow restoration in Herefordshire.

Andrew Nixon, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, will then speak about the process of floodplain restoration at Bartonsham and what this would look like on the ground for all of us.

Bring your questions! We’re sure Caroline and Andrew will have the latest on weed mitigation, best relationships between walkers and wildlife, and the biodiversity gains to be made. We’ll have plenty of time for questions and you can send in your questions in advance to info@friendsofbartonshammeadows.org.

Small print: the meeting will not be live streamed or recorded but we will produce a blog for our next newsletter.  In accordance with the constitution if anyone would like to stand for the positions of chair, secretary or treasurer please let us know. The people currently holding those positions are willing to serve another term. Our constitution is here and minutes from the AGM will be available on request.


chiffchaffkingfishermute swan
collared dovelesser black-backed gullpied wagtail
greater spotted woodpeckerlittle egretrobin
grey heronlong-tailed titsand martin
grey wagtailmagpiesong thrush
herring gullmallardswallow
house martinmandarin duckswallow
house sparrowmoorhenswallow
31 different species of birds counted on 18th July

Black headed gulls have returned and numbers of lesser black backed gulls, mute swan and mallard counted had increased dramatically. The four young mandarin ducklings are now fully grown.

Purple Loosestrife. Photo: Elaine Underwood


  • Continue to send us your pics and updates on the meadows
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Best wishes,

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