August 2021 Newsletter


A warm welcome back to our Friends. Thanks so much for supporting the project.

August has been relatively quiet as many of us took a Summer break. As all locals will know the meadows have been cut. We held a super Bioblitz activity day at the beginning of the month. 

Read the full blog here and see the highlights below.

We’ve also been busy putting together a forthcoming article for the county-wide Flycatcher magazine. We’ll let you know when it’s been published!


The Church Commissioners carried out weed mitigation work in the middle of August by cutting and leaving the weeds. We put out the following statement: 

‘We are pleased to see that weed mitigation is being carried out currently on the meadows though we had not been informed it would take place from Friday 13th August. We have been in regular contact with the Church Commissioners and their land agents to raise concerns about weed control and appropriate management with a view to a longer term floodplain meadow restoration. We recommended a cut and collect in June which would have removed the seed bed, now seemingly to be left on the site. The Commissioners have not yet clarified their formal plan for how the land is to be farmed and how this current cut fits into that. We will communicate their plan as soon as we hear it. We will continue to push for an appropriate longterm floodplain meadows restoration plan that respects the environment and best practice. Best practice does not support the use of herbicides or ploughing which we have raised with the Commissioners.’

Agricultural work undertaken on this site is very much in the public eye. Some of our supporters made the following comments on social media:

Mary Bennett (local resident) wryly noted that topping the land to make it look tidier was not exactly land management.
Susan Crawshaw (forager and frequent walker of the meadows) raised concerns with the manner in which the cut was undertaken, ‘They seem to be cutting really, really close to the edges as well, which I thought they weren't going to do. And they're going around & around in ever decreasing circles which always makes me mad when I see it, as wildlife gets trapped in an ever decreasing island and can't escape, so gets squashed. It'll all grow again next year, as it's all seeded, but glad to see that it is being cut, but they need proper management. Thanks to everyone who's trying to get them to do something.’ Susan also found three dead flat rabbits in the top field after the mowing, presumably a consequence of  the method of mowing.
Jim Hardy (Hereford farmer and councillor) wrote, ‘What a waste of time and money! Everything has set seed so they are too late to prevent the docks and thistles etc germinating next year. And leaving all the cuttings to rot will only encourage the rank vegetation at the expense of the finer. Well done the Church Commissioners!’ Jim also noted that the mowing has destroyed winter habitat for all kinds of wildlife, in particular birds who would have enjoyed the ripe seed.

The Commissioners have not yet communicated their longer term plan though we continue to be in regular contact.

Photo by Ruth Westoby



Reptile survey.
Sunday 5th September.

We are planning to carry out a mini-survey for reptiles along the permissive path at the back of Park Street.  There are four commonly found species of reptile in Britain: slow worm, grass snake, common lizard and adder.  They are generally found in sunny places with a range of vegetation structures that offer places to shelter, open areas to bask and insect-rich habitats to feed.  Grass snakes are more closely associated with water, where they will feed on fish and frogs, and adder largely occur in more open heathy places.  The species that is most commonly encountered in garden environments is slow worm, which can turn up in compost heaps or undisturbed piles of logs or vegetation.  For the survey, we will be putting out ‘mats’ (small squares of roofing felt) along the edge of the permissive path.  Where reptiles are present they will be drawn to these to bask upon or shelter under.  September is an ideal time to look for reptiles – the days are cooler so they are less active and easier to see, but they have not yet gone into hibernation.  Walkers along the path are invited to check under the mats as they pass and record anything they see.  And if anyone in Park Street has encountered reptiles in their garden we would be very interested to hear.

Online public meeting (Postponed).
Monday 13th September at 7pm.

Project introduction and launch of membership programme. Expect presentations from members of our committee to give an overview of our aims as a lobbying environmental group. We have invited the Church Commissioners and their agents to present their plans for the site and have not yet received a response.

Apologies to those who have booked or hoped to come to our public meeting on Monday 13th September. We have decided to postpone the meeting. We had planned to use the meeting to launch our membership scheme and provide further information on the management plans for the site. It has taken us a little longer than expected to open our bank account and we are still working to confirm the range of speakers we hope for to enable a fully informed discussion. Please keep an eye out for rescheduling – and our newsletters for the latest information on the project.

Bird walk.
Keep an eye out for our next Bird Walk in early October.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust City branch Online Talk: Wild Plants in Urban Environments.
Thursday 4th November, 7:30pm – 9:00pm.

Our friends at HWT City Branch have an exciting event coming up on “We walk, stroll, and run down our city streets, most often without noticing the wealth of wild plants beneath our noses. Join the Hereford City Branch of the Hereford Wildlife Trust for a Zoom talk by Dr. Mark Spencer, who will take us on an urban wild plant safari. A well-known forensic botanist, Mark Spencer is also keen to make us aware of the wild fungi, lichens, and plants which pop up through our pavements, through the cracks in walls, and along our kerbs. To find out more about Mark Spencer, have a look at his website and show reel at


Herefordshire Council is creating a new Herefordshire Climate and Nature Partnership. Its vision is to achieve a ‘thriving zero-carbon nature-rich Herefordshire by 2030’. The purpose of the Partnership is to catalyse and co-ordinate new action to help achieve this vision, through steering and overseeing the implementation of Herefordshire’s Climate and Nature Action Plans. Membership of the Partnership is free and is open to any organisation or business committed to helping achieve the Partnership’s vision.
Photo by Elaine Underwood


  • Come along to our public meeting
  • Send us images of the Meadows
  • Share this newsletter
  • Join us on Facebook and Instagram
  • Become a member of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust here.
  • Become a member of the Friends Group – details to be announced at our online meeting on 13th September 

Best wishes

Anna, Bill, Charlie, Chloe, Dick, Gareth, Jeremy, Mo, Rhys, Ruth, Will and all at Friends of Bartonsham Meadows

July 2021 Newsletter


A warm welcome to our Friends. Thank you so much for supporting our project for Bartonsham Meadows.

Throughout July’s torrential rain and blazing heat we’ve been busy.  Actions this month:

Hosted an informal follow-up to our first balsam bash on 4th July to cut further swathes behind the treatment works. Many locals have made huge efforts to continue to tackle the Himalayan balsam. What remains is now flowering but we will be back next year!
Met with the Church Commissioners on 7th July to discuss weed mitigation, advocate for floodplain restoration, and ascertain the requirements to pitch to buy the land. More in the ‘land management update’ below.
Hosted our penultimate summer event, a Wildflower Walk around the Meadows, on 11th July. Huge thanks to everyone who came along and made a donation, we all brushed up our weed, grasses and wildflower knowledge! Thanks to Anna Gundry for leading the walk and providing tick-off plant ID sheets and info leaflets to help along the way. See photos below. Check out below for details of our final #FoBMSummer event, the Bioblitz. 
Showcased the project at the wonderful Walking the Wye handover on Castle Green on 18th July. The #SaveTheWye pilgrims made such a powerful, moving entrance to Hereford. It was great to be a part of the celebration picnic with other local organisations - and a warm hello to anyone who has joined our mailing list since having a chat with us on that day!
Supported The Civic Society’s well-attended walk of the Meadows on 22nd July hosted by Jeremy Milln with history contributions from Bill Laws and David Whitehead. Ruth Westoby gave a quick introduction to our project.
Walked the site with the committee and a potential new tenant on 26th July. Watch this space……


We’re officially a Community Association! Very exciting stuff. You can view our constitution below. Now we have our brilliant committee of volunteers behind us, we’re in the process of formulating our membership scheme. See the events section below for how to get involved in our first official public meeting (hosted online) to learn more about becoming a subscribing supporter of our project.

“An interesting evening walk around Bartonsham Meadows, led by Cllr Jeremy Milne & hosted by Hereford Civic Society with contributions from David Whitehead, Ruth Westoby of the Friends of Bartonsham Meadows & Members of the Bartonsham History Group.” Kip Herring – Thanks for sharing!
Cheers! Making the most of the sunshine, enjoying a wild swim in the river from the meadows. This is what we need more of…


The Meadows are technically fallow, left unmanaged since the crop was taken in Autumn 2020. This has led to spectacular growth of vegetation which has benefited insects and birds. Yet proscribed weeds such as dock, thistle and ragwort predominate. We are campaigning for restoration of biodiverse grassland characteristic of traditional floodplain meadows to deliver benefits for people, wildlife and the environment. We continue to explore options for acquisition of the land on behalf of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust should the Church Commissioners be persuaded to dispose of it. We have also established a dialogue between the Church Commissioners and their agents and the country’s leading experts on floodplain meadow restoration. There has been extensive communications but as yet no immediate plan.

7th July meeting outcomes:

  • Agents for the Church Commissioners agreed to cut and remove the weeds potentially to the anaerobic digester plant at Hampton Bishop. Two weeks after that discussion it appears the remnant crop is now too woody to be of value for anaerobic digesters.
  • We understood from this meeting that the Commissioners are now not seeking to remove this parcel of land from the previous tenant’s Mid-Tier Stewardship Scheme.
  • We note that there are a range of views on the most appropriate restoration both in the interests of the environment and in the interests of expediency. The Friends group have communicated that we support a programme of cutting and carting as preliminary weed control in preparation for restoration of a grass sward, rather than herbicides and ploughing.
  • Agents for the Commissioners have asked us to communicate their preferred option with our supporters and we will of course do so. We have invited them to present their plans for the site at a public meeting in September.

Land management summary

  • The developments over the last year and a half since the Friends group got going can seem a little complex! After our June newsletter we produced a one page summary linked below. Check it out for an overview and do share with all interested parties.


Our membership scheme is launching soon! We are hosting our first online public event as a committee to present our project and offer our membership programme. We’d love as many of our supporters to attend as possible. Expect presentations from members of our committee to give an overview of our aims as a lobbying environmental group. We have invited the Church Commissioners and their agents to present their plans for the site and answer questions.
The online event will take place on Monday 13th September, 7pm. Put the date in your diary! We’ll be following up with more information, including booking links, nearer the time.


  • Come along to our Bioblitz
  • Send us your images of the Meadows
  • Share this newsletter widely
  • Join us on Instagram and Facebook
  • Become a member of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust here.
  • Make a donation to keep our project going. Dick, our new treasurer, is working on opening us a bank account but for now we would truly appreciate cheques dropped off the old-fashioned way here or you can donate via our Eventbrite page when checking out for events. If you feel you could contribute to a valuation please drop us an email to

Best wishes,

Anna, Bill, Charlie, Chloe, Dick, Gareth, Jeremy, Mo, Rhys, Ruth, Will and all at Friends of Bartonsham Meadows

June 2021 Newsletter


A warm welcome back to our Friends of Bartonsham Meadows newsletter. Thank you so much for supporting our project.

We’ve reached the end of June already! This month we have → 

  • Ticked off another #FoBMSummer event off the list! We had around 24 attendees join us for the Himalayan Balsam Bashing event. Thanks to everyone for their amazing efforts, we managed to get through loads of the stuff. Whilst it’ll come back next year all our efforts help to reduce the seedbank.

If you’re around on Sunday 4th July at 2pm, we’ll be having another informal session to get through some more before it flowers, so please do come along and give us a hand. No booking required, meet at the Green Street entrance to the Meadows. Long-sleeves and gloves essential. Scythes and sense of humour optional.
Thanks to everyone who has kept heading out to pull independently.

  • We’re just a couple of meetings away from becoming an official Community Association Group! We have our committee, constitution, and our sanity (just). All we need now is to tie a bow around it all with the final formality processes. Once we’re formalised, you’ll be able to join us as supporters (like you are now, having signed up to the mailing list) or as paying members, with the opportunity to make annual donations to support our project. We will keep you updated with our progress and look forward to welcoming you on board. Thanks again for the support!
  • We presented an update at the latest St. James’ Community Association meeting, where Ruth spoke about land management and Anna gave an update on events.

Recap: The Meadows are owned by the Church Commissioners and came out of a three generation tenancy at the beginning of 2021. The end of this tenancy saw the transition to arable in 2020 carried out by a sub-tenant. Since the crop was harvested in Autumn 2020 the land has lain fallow.

Concern: Friends of Bartonsham Meadows got together in February 2020 to voice concern over the transition to arable and accompanied environmental degradation that results from farming in this manner on a floodplain: run-off of pesticides and fertilisers into the river and loss of topsoil degrading the land and the river, loss of biodiversity, and reneging on the permanent pasture commitment in the then tenant’s Mid-Tier Stewardship Scheme.

Vision: Restore and protect the Meadows for public benefit by encouraging and supporting local responsible stewardship through championing biodiversity. Lobby for the restoration of the Meadows to a traditionally managed floodplain grassland habitat. This would achieve flood mitigation, carbon sequestration, ecological enhancement, improved river water quality, and quality green and blue space for the people of Hereford.

Actions: Pragmatically initiated and maintained dialogue with the landowners and managers, developed relationships with key decision-makers at local government and expert advisor level, and established a communications network with Hereford residents. We are extremely grateful for the support of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust without whom we would not have got this far. Alongside Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and to satisfy the landowner’s desire for a short-term tenancy we brokered a visionary plan that would have seen regenerative farming of a herd of Herefords on the land (thanks Kate Bradshaw and Tan House Farm!). This broke down due to unresolved problems with the existing Mid-Tier Stewardship Scheme, see our May newsletter here for more details. 

Next-up: Explore a pitch to buy the Meadows alongside Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and funded by the Council. The Church Commissioners have warned that this would have to be competitively costed and is not in line with their plans for the site or indeed the County. However, as a charity they would have to consider a good offer for the land. If successful we would seek grants and fundraise to pay back the Council.

Current management: The land is currently not tenanted and is designated fallow for BPS. We can get in there and rip up balsam; we do not have the authority or funding for a proper restoration project. We have some fabulous organisations on side who want to get out there and do a site visit and advise on a restoration project (the Floodplain Meadows Partnership, Herefordshire Meadows, the Plant-Fed Livestock Association, and not least Herefordshire Wildlife Trust!). Many of you have been in touch, concerned about the terrible state of the meadows: riddled with balsam, docks and thistles. Whilst this is heart-breaking and we want to sort it out NOW we do not have the resources or authority to comprehensively tackle this. We have taken these concerns to the Church Commissioners and have a meeting in the diary for next week.

You: Can you help pay for a valuation? Please get in touch if you can financially support this pitch.
“First time I’ve seen this butterfly in the meadows: a Painted Lady. Newly back from North Africa perhaps. It enjoyed darting from dandelion to dandelion.” Elaine Underwood


  • Sunday 11th July, 2pm – Wildflower Walk

Join local ecologist Anna Gundrey to help compile a botanical species list of the meadows, whilst picking up some expert plant ID tips along the way.

Online booking is essential, we have a limited number of spaces for this event so do book on early to avoid disappointment.

We’ll be starting from the usual Green Street gate at 2pm.

This event is suitable for beginners to plant identification and well-practiced plant spotters alike. If you have them, please bring along your wildflower books to use on the move! A species tick list and some basic ID sheets will be available.

For the tech-savvy, there will also be a chance to investigate the iRecord app for mapping species/plantlife on the meadows digitally.

This is a free event but you will have the option to make a much-needed donation to Friends of Bartonsham Meadows at checkout. Thank you for your support.

  • Sunday 18th July, 2pm-4:30pm We’re joining “Walking with the Wye” – “A month-long pilgrimage along the River Wye from its source to where it ends at the Severn estuary, to celebrate this magnificent river and its vital tributaries, and to raise awareness of the environmental destruction it is facing.”
  • Come and see us in the marquee on the 18th July! We’ll be waving our flag on Castle Green. You can visit the organisers’ (Save the Wye) Facebook Group here.
  • Thursday 22nd July, 6.00pm – Civic Society Walk – See our social media and more emails nearer the time for details!
  • Saturday 7th/Sunday 8th August, various times – 24 Hour Bio Blitz – Expect an array of day and night events including bat surveying, moth-trapping, dawn bird-calling and more. Something for all the family, we encourage you to bring your kids along! More details soon.
On the final May Bank Holiday weekend, Mo was down at the meadows waving the FoBM flag at Bartonsham History Group’s event…


Our friend and regenerative farmer Kate Bradsaw would like to offer the Friends 100% pastured beef and hogget boxes this season, which should be ready late Summer and early Autumn. She says:

“They really do taste fantastic, have no chemical or grain input and are fully reared on nothing but pasture – grass, hay, hedgerows etc. and are uncertified organic. I can offer a small discount to the Friends and could also do a combined delivery at the time to save on fuel.”

Kate’s online shop is ready to take pre-orders:

Come along to our summer events

Send us your images of the meadows

Share this newsletter widely

Join us on FB

Become a member of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust here.

Make a donation to keep our project going. Dick, our new treasurer, is working on opening us a bank account but for now we would truly appreciate cheques dropped off the old-fashioned way here or you can donate via our Eventbrite page when checking out for events. If you feel you could contribute to a valuation please drop us an email to

Best wishes,

Anna, Bill, Charlie, Chloe, Dick, Gareth, Jeremy, Mo, Rhys, Ruth, Will and all at Friends of Bartonsham Meadows

May 2021 Newsletter


A warm welcome back to our Friends of Bartonsham Meadows newsletter. Thank you so much for supporting our campaign.

This month has seen…

  • A set-back to progress on regeneration of the meadows. The proposed regenerative farmer has pulled out of taking on the tenancy as the Church Commissioners were unable to offer a workable solution to lifting the Bartonsham land parcels out of the former tenant’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme. Under the agreement, the former tenant signed up to retaining the meadows as permanent pasture. See below for details.
  • The first #FoBMSummer event! The litter-pick a couple of Sunday’s back was a great turn out and we made some solid progress on removing the plastic tree guards from the saplings across the Canary Bridge. A huge thanks to everyone who came along and took part. We also raised a generous £35 from attendees – thank you for supporting us!
  • We’re delighted to welcome onto the committee two key new members. Gareth Dart has agreed to become our secretary and Dick Jones joins us as treasurer. Big thanks to them both for being willing to get stuck in and support our progress towards constituting as a democratic community association.
  • Published an interactive map showing the potential regeneration of the site developed by Rhys Ward here.
  • The results are out! We’ve compiled the results of our current usage survey – thanks to the everyone who contributed – check out our infographic below.

Kate Bradshaw, who farms regeneratively at Tan House Farm, Upton Bishop, Ross-on-Wye negotiated with the Church Commissioners’s land agent to take on a five year tenancy at Bartonsham Meadows. The agreement included reseeding with a biodiverse grass sward, running a herd of traditional Hereford cattle, managing the land regeneratively to increase soil health via livestock grazing, without pesticides and artificial fertilisers, and introducing a 100% pasture-fed beef box scheme for local residents.

Kate withdrew from the tenancy negotiations when the Church Commissioners were unwilling to put in train the removal of the Bartonsham land parcels from the former tenant’s (Matthews’ family) Countryside Stewardship Scheme. Natural England, who run the scheme, are able to take out sanctions in the event of a breach and require the return of monies paid if an agreement is breached - for example when permanent pasture is ploughed up.

Kate said, ‘I am committed to regenerative farming practices and producing 100% pasture-fed beef and hogget. I was excited about the potential to restore the Meadows to their former glory with traditional Hereford cattle within sight of the Cathedral. I was also planning to relocate the soon-to-be decommissioned scout hut as a farm shop and education hub at the heart of the Meadows and its community. But in the end, I felt it was better for me to step aside from the potential liability of a breached subsidy scheme which could prejudice any future applications to the same funds.’

The 5 year Countryside Stewardship Scheme has a further 18 months to run and was entered into by the Matthews family who recently relinquished farming management of the land.

Any future tenant who wishes to apply for Stewardship would need to do so based on the reality of the meadows today, not what they were formerly, which is why the current agreement needs to be discontinued before any further changes to the land are made.

We spoke with the Church Commissioners this week to follow up after Kate’s exit from the negotiations. They have registered the land as fallow as part of their Basic Payment Scheme application and intend to reseed at the earliest opportunity.

The Church Commissioners have confirmed their intention to revert the land to pasture and manage it in an environmentally positive way. We have repeated our position that ploughing, spraying and using artificial fertiliser is not the way to restore the Meadows, especially due to the proximity to the River Wye - already heavily polluted with industrial farming residue. After the recent excessive rainfall during May, the Wye is exceptionally high for the time of year with a possible flood risk.
By Christine Earl


  • Secured the support of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust to manage the land if they were granted a minimum 25-year lease
  • Secured the backing of the council to explore purchasing the land on behalf of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust
  • Secured the backing of the Bishop of Hereford, the local MP Jesse Norman, the local church of St Paul’s and St James’, and the local Eco Church
  • Secured the support and advice of such expert groups in floodplain management as the Floodplain Meadows Partnership
  • Collected data from local residents that demonstrates the extensive use of the meadows, a natural asset cherished all the more due to the Covid-restrictions of the last year and a half
  • Secured the support of 189 people with whom we share these monthly newsletters, plus regular social media updates

Friends of Bartonsham Meadows are continuing to make the case for the long-term benefits that could be realised by a floodplain meadows restoration plan:

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Natural flood defences
  • Biodiversity
  • Improved river water quality and protection
  • Contribute to the health and wellbeing of Hereford’s population
  • Sustainable agriculture and food production

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has the support of a consortium of advisory groups including the Floodplain Meadows Partnership, Herefordshire Meadows, and the Plantfed Livestock Association who are all perfectly positioned to advise on a visionary restoration programme.

The current state of the meadows is dire. Some areas do not have plant cover due to flood damage (making the meadows vulnerable to further topsoil erosion), most coverage is self-seeded crop that is not being grown for harvest, and the rest has gone to weed including large swathes of docks.



In February 2021, the Church Commissioners sold off the farm buildings and all land above flood-level, to the outgoing tenant, a decision that makes the land difficult to manage for any new grazier tenant, who would need a shelter for animals and the storage of fodder. FoBM has also highlighted the need for office and meeting space. When the Scouts construct their new facility in 2022, their present hut is planned to be demolished. The Scouts are amenable to the idea of giving it a new lease of life if it can be relocated to a new site. The options are few as we would like to keep it in the area, if possible to serve the Meadows in some way. If you think you can help, please get in touch.


The kissing gate on the public footpath across the Meadows shortly before you reach Outfall Works Road has twice been damaged by floods since Feb 2020. This is to be replaced by a simple self-closing gate resituated higher up by the road itself and the badly eroded path at this point will be made good. We are aware how hazardous it is at the moment.


Rhys Ward, final year undergraduate at the University of the West of England, has developed a state of the art interactive map to demonstrate what restoration could look like.

“May flowers in the meadows” Elaine Underwood


The next event on our summer line-up is the Himalayan Balsam Bashing event: Join us for an overdue active summer project to rip away the Himalayan Balsam from the river bank to prevent any further damage to other plant life. Himilayan balsam takes over our native flora and leaves river banks exposed to erosion. Help us pull out as much as we can! Eventbrite registration is now open, book using the link below.
Next up will be the Wildflower Walk with Plant ID in July… look out for more details soon!


  • Join our summer events
  • Send us your images of the meadows
  • Share this newsletter widely
  • Become a member of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust here
  • Make a donation to keep our project going here

Best wishes,

Ruth, Chloe and all at Friends of Bartonsham Meadows

April 2021 Newsletter


A warm welcome back to our Friends of Bartonsham Meadows newsletter. Thank you so much for supporting our campaign.

This month we have…

  • Contributed an update at Hereford Civic Society’s online event on 15th April. You can see Ruth’s update on our YouTube channel here
  • Drawn up a constitution to formalise our Friends group as a community association to help facilitate positive environmental change. People signed up to this newsletter are our ‘supporter tier’ – folks who like to hear our updates, hear about volunteering opportunities, attend public meetings and generally support the project. We’ll create a member-tier for those who are able to financially support us through an annual donation to the group.
  • Planned a raft of summer events! See below for more details.
  • Started removing the plastic tree guards from the saplings across the Canary Bridge. More details below for how you can help!
“Lots of lovely cuckoo flowers in the meadows at the moment. Orange tip butterflies like to lay their eggs in them.” Elaine Underwood


  • 204 of you have had your say and responded to our survey so far, thank you so much!
  • You all seem to use the meadows fairly regularly, with the most popular frequency falling between daily, 2-4 times a week and weekly.
  • 20% of those who responded swim in the Wye from the meadows, mostly seasonally… although we see you brave 6 who still swim weekly.
  • 40% of you are regular dog walkers.
  • The most popular footpath along the meadows is the footpath running past the river (96%), shortly followed by Green Street to Canary Bridge (91%).
  • 50% of you use the meadows to socialise.
  • 3.5% of you use the meadows to commute to work.

There were countless responses which shared our vision for the future of the meadows.

“The Bassom from a coracle in the evening” Pete Reading

A suitable regenerative land management system has yet to be put in place for the meadows but we’re continuing to support negotiations between the land agent and the prospective tenant farmer.

We understand they’re moving ahead but more slowly than we had hoped, due to one specific open issue, currently with the land agent to resolve.

Subject to reaching an agreement, the in-coming tenant farmer manages her land regeneratively and is committed to the use of grazing livestock to restore the meadows.
Hereford Wildlife Trust continues to help enormously in supporting our efforts to find the right solution for restoration. 

The office of Jesse Norman MP has been actively communicating our longer-term vision for restoration to the Church Commissioners.


  • We’ve started planning loads of summer events, and are delighted to share an outline below. More info to come in separate emails so keep an eye out and save the dates! All events will be free with the option to donate on Eventbrite.
  • Litter-pick: A wholesome afternoon of litter-picking in the fields – we hope to have power in numbers! Equipment provided but if you’ve got your own pickers, feel free to bring them along.
  • Wildflower walk: A Wildflower walk around the meadows. Join ecologist Anna Gundrey and others to help compile a botanical species list for the meadows and river bank, whilst picking up plant ID tips along the way. 
  • 24 Hour Bioblitz: How many animal and plant species can we record in a 24-hour period? This will be an informal and fun event for all the family to create a snapshot of the multitude of life that is present on Bartonsham Meadows. The event will include a dawn bird walk, a dusk bat survey and much more in between. 
  • Himalayan Balsam Bashing: Join us for an overdue active summer project to rip away the Himalayan Balsam from the river bank to prevent any further damage to other plantlife. 

We’re also plotting some river events and a walk with the Civic Society too…


Friends of Bartonsham Meadows would like to add their condolences to Dawn Daw and her family over the loss of husband Jeremy ‘Jack’ Daw, the Hereford paramedic killed in an ambulance accident at Moreton on Lugg recently.

In her tribute Hereford Mayor Cllr Kath Hay recalls how Jack’s metal detecting skills helped uncover a hoard of Roman coins near Kimbolton in 2013. Jack was also an enthusiastic conservator of metal mileposts and, according to archaeologist Tim Hoverd, was currently restoring the Byford Milepost.

FoBM also recalls his 2019 discovery of a stock of lead musket balls, which, he believed, dated back to the Civil War. Found on the south east side of the Meadows, a site consistent with keeping leadwork downwind from the troops’ camp, Jack’s find emphasises the archaeological importance of Bartonsham Meadows.

Jack, who was raised in Whitecross (his parents ran the Britannia in Cotterell Street until the late 1960s) had planned to share his finds with Bartonsham History Group after the lockdown. He will be sadly missed.
 - Bill Laws
Jeremy ‘Jack’ Daw. Image sourced via @YourHerefordshire


We need your support to pursue this project for the restoration of Bartonsham Farm to species-rich floodplain meadow.

  • We need you! Would you like to join our committee as treasurer or secretary as we move towards formalising ourselves as a community association? If so please get in touch.

If that’s not your cup of tea there are a host of other ways to help. 

  • Join us at our summer events.
  • There’s an informal push to continue to remove the plastic tree guards on the far side of Canary Bridge – got an hour or so this Saturday afternoon?  Ping us an email for details. We’ll be meeting at 4pm on the east side of Canary Bridge. Litter pickers provided.
  • We value your images and footage of the meadows to both keep a record of the land and for use on social media. Please continue to share with us.
  • Do share this newsletter with people you think could support us.
  • Consider becoming a member of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust here.
  • Consider making a donation to keep our project going. Help us make the case for this vital green space here link to page on website – currently in a sorry state [I’ll try and get some fresh pics].

Get in touch with feedback and ideas via email or social media.

All the best

Ruth, Chloe and Friends of Bartonsham Meadows