Restoration of Bartonsham Meadows to managed permanent floodplain meadow, such as hay meadow with traditional aftermath grazing, would deliver the following environmental benefits:
- Development of a species-rich, biodiverse, complex-structured habitat in which wildlife (such as bees, hares and ground-nesting birds) can thrive.
- The deep roots that develop in a traditionally managed permanent pasture can facilitate carbon and nutrient capture.
- A shift of land use from arable to permanent floodplain meadow will help to slow, store and filter flood water. Flooding on the nearby and downriver built environment will be alleviated and the receding flood will not carry with it the top soil and phosphates that are polluting the River Wye.
Social and cultural opportunities
Social and cultural benefits from a rich semi-natural environmental setting include:
- valuing species and habitats, agricultural heritage, archaeological heritage, grazing for rare livestock breeds, ecological knowledge and training areas;
- physical and mental health and well-being, social cohesion, recreation and tourism, UK research base, and environmental education.
- The unique position of the meadows, almost encircled by the City, offers high levels of access and value as a community greenspace.