Herefordshire Wildlife Trust have signed a long lease with Church Commissioners to create a floodplain meadow nature reserve at Bartonsham Meadows.
There will be a tree planting procession, stalls, music, light refreshments and WildPlay (great for the children!), along with the opportunity to share – and enjoy – your Meadows Memories with Bartonsham History Group (they will be running a tombola too).
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For our group, Friends of Bartonsham Meadows (FoBM), our immediate brief has been fulfilled by securing the long-term future of this site, and we will be supporting the Trust with their management plan going forward. However, we still need your help!
By signing up to our newsletter, we’ll keep you updated with events, developments and volunteering opportunities. It is going to take patience for the fields to be returned to floodplain meadows – we’re looking at about 10 years for the area to be returned to its natural state, but with a little local enthusiasm (and muscle), we’ll get there.
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We have a ‘Balsam Bash’ (an event to remove the non-native species) coming up in May, and hedgerow planting later in the year. Don‘t worry, we’re not just on the look out for a task force – we want the Meadows to be enjoyed by our community and the changes in the biodiversity to be shared. Our newsletter includes surveys, and we encourage you to share any sightings, images or bird song encountered on the fields.
Part of FoBM’s continued mission will be to ensure, as Ruth Westoby describes, we ‘put biodiversity at the forefront – to speak on behalf of endangered plantlife and animal life’. Part of this will include keeping a watching eye over the sale and beneficiaries of the carbon credits attached to the meadows. By supporting the Trust in their management of the Meadows, and by continuing our commitment to putting nature first, we hope to see the fields returned to grassland and traditionally managed as floodplain meadows. In achieving this we will be able to celebrate that we have made space for nature right in the heart of our city.
Our celebrations on the 1st May are a great opportunity to see the wildlife currently enjoying springtime on the Meadows. We’ll hopefully have some tally charts on the day so we can collectively take stock of the current inhabitants, but FoBM’s Anna has highlighted the below for things to look and listen out for on the day and the coming months:
• Butterflies: small tortoiseshell and peacock
• Birds: skylarks – they are yet to be heard this year, but have been on the Meadow for the last two springs.
• Flowers: cuckoo flowers – a few of these damp meadow species can still be found near the river.