August 2022 Newsletter


Welcome to our August newsletter. The big news is we had a great AGM! Thanks so much to everyone who came along and shared their enthusiasm for creating a biodiverse floodplain meadow at Bartonsham. We’ve written it up as a blog which is available here and follows various updates in our newsletter.


  • The Church Commissioners told us they would be signing a 25 year lease with Herefordshire Wildlife Trust in September or early October at the latest! There will be a ban on ploughing it up again 🙂
  • Huge gratitude to the 437 of you who have filled in our survey! Some results are included in the blog. We have shared the full anonymised results with HWT to assist them in applying for lottery funds to support the restoration of Bartonsham Meadows.
  • A whopping 60 odd people attended our AGM to hear about the project, share enthusiasm and questions, and eat and drink goodies including Fran’s dock seed cake.
  • In response to requests from local residents and FoBM the Commissioners cut a fire break along the back of Park Street (days before a fire broke out on the adjacent farm across the river).
  • Last weekend the Council mowed the river path to ease access, in response to requests from Jeremy Milln.
  • Want an information-rich one minute on floodplains? Check out this video Caroline Hanks of Herefordshire Meadows recommended from the Floodplain Meadows Partnership.

The Friends group want to give a really big shout out to two members of the working group - Rhys Ward who produced the visionary interactive map and Chloe Bradman, our communicative communications manager. We will be less snazzy and snappy without her. Finally, we are so sorry that Andrew Nixon is leaving HWT. He’s been an amazing support to the group since our first meeting and we wouldn’t be where we are now without him.


It is not celebration time ‘til the lease is signed, but we hope it’s just around the corner. Suggestions for celebrations have included Civil War re-enactments and mass dock-scything massacres. Ruth currently favours a more modest litterpick with hipflasks but we are open to suggestions.

By Elaine Underwood


Bill said ‘We recorded 23 species during the monthly Meadows bird count on August 22. A couple of birds – robin, sparrow and starling – proved elusive that morning. Here’s the full list (which included a young sparrow hawk hunting down a small bird)’

Black headed gullsGoldfinchMoorhen
BlackbirdGreat titMute swan
Blue titGrey heronPheasant
BuzzardHouse martinSparrow hawk
Carrion crowKingfisherSwallow
Chiff chaffLesser-black backed gullWoodpigeon
DunnockLong-tailed titWren
Spot the heron… By Bill Laws

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Best wishes,

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