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