2018 Open Meadows

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May 142018

Open Meadow 2017 at Llanllowell House

Instead of holding a one-day event, this year we are planning afternoon and evening Open Meadows, to which MMG members and supporters, their family and friends are invited. As always, we are very grateful to our hosts who allow us to come on to their land to enjoy the results of their hard work.

The first is on the afternoon of Saturday 9th June at Blaentrothy Farm, Grosmont, NP7 8HN. This extensive site is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), owned by MMG members Ruaridh and Caroline MacDonald. Meet at 2.30pm for a walk in the meadows, which will be open until 5pm.

Cathy Clarke, a regular visitor to Blaentrothy Meadows, has made a short film about the history of the SSSI which can be viewed at on YouTube here.

On the evening of Friday 29th June, Sheelagh Kerry and Peter Smith will be welcoming people at their home at Ty Major, Forest Coal Pit, near Abergavenny, from 4.30pm.  There will be a flower walk, tea and cake.


Download Directions to Blaentrothy Farm (pdf)

Download Directions to Ty Major (pdf)

Monmouthshire Open Meadows 18 June 2017

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Apr 272017

GWT Reserve at Springdale Farm, April 2017

This year we are working with Gwent Wildlife Trust to give people the opportunity to walk around some of the county’s most beautiful meadows and to get a feel for how the Monmouthshire landscape would have looked before intensive farming methods were adopted.

Download the leaflet

Four meadows are open on Sunday 18th June where there will be hosts to point out the paths and help identify species. Continue reading »

Open Meadows on National Meadows Day 2nd July 2016

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May 282016

National Meadows Day pictureUPDATE: This relates to our 2016 Open Meadows Day.

This year our Open Meadows Day will be a celebration of our success in purchasing Kingcoed Meadows plus a special viewing of Joanna Kerr’s garden and meadow at Glebe House, Llanfair Kilgeddin.

We are holding our events on National Meadows Day, Saturday 2nd July, and we are collaborating with Plantlife to join in this national celebration promoted by Save our Magnificent Meadows.  Plantlife will have a stall at Kingcoed and will be launching their new flower identification leaflet on the day.

You should also have time to visit Pentwyn Farm meadows in Penallt, where Gwent Wildlife Trust will be organising family activities as part of National Meadows Day.

Scroll down for details or download our leaflet which includes directions and a map of Kingcoed Meadows (pdf)

Times and Directions

(Maps will enlarge – click on symbol in top right)

Kingcoed Meadows

The meadows will be open all day, from 10 am to 4.30 pm, with guided walks in the morning.  Admission is free.  There will be some parking on site and along the verge.  The meadows are at grid reference SO427057.  Satnav users can use post code NP15 1DS.

Glebe House Garden and Meadow

Open 2 pm to 5 pm, £4 admission with all proceeds to Monmouthshire Meadows Group to help support our project at Kingcoed.  Refreshments will be available.  The house is at Llanvair Kilgeddin, Abergavenny NP7 9BE, midway between Abergavenny and Usk on the B4598.

Joanna’s garden is part of the National Gardens Scheme and there is more information about Glebe House  the NGS web site.

Pentwyn Farm

Also as part of National Meadows Day, Gwent Wildlife Trust are holding a Family Fun Day at their Pentwyn reserve, with activities and crafts including meadow flower hunting and trails around the reserve. There will be refreshments available.  Open 1 pm to 4 pm.   For more information and directions see this event page on Gwent Wildlife Trust’s site

SavOurMagnficentMeadows_logoNational Meadows Day is a project of Save our Magnificent Meadows, a partnership of 11 organisations led by Plantlife and primarily funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Meadows Open Day 14 June 2015

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May 292015

Update: Gwent Wildlife Trust will have someone on site at their New Grove Meadows reserve near Trellech during the day, so it is well worth adding this to your tour around.  This is Monmouthshire’s Coronation Meadows (together with New Grove Farm next door) and one of the best wildflower meadows in the country.  [If you would like to see the privately owned meadow next door at New Grove Farm you can go to their charity day on 6th June in aid of Home Start – details here.]

Meadows Open Day 2015 Directions Leaflet (pdf file)

Open Meadows day 2015

This year we are having one day of Open Meadows,on Sunday 14th June with three sites opening their gates to the public:

  • The beautiful meadows and orchard in the grounds of Ty Mawr Convent near Penallt, NP25 4RN, (Grid reference SO 505 078) where we shall be joined by Gwent Wildlife Trust
  • Four Acres in Maryland, The Narth NP25 4QJ (SO 519 059), which boasts the largest population of Greater Butterfly Orchids in the county. These meadows are open thanks to the tenant Nikki Godfrey
  • Land belonging to Nigel and Jane Seabourne at High Springs, Wern Lane, Mitchel Troy Common NP25 4JQ (SO 491 093): three meadows with a good array of meadow species including Broad-leaved Helleborines, a small spring and wet area with a stream and woodland edge

The meadows will be open from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm.  Access is free but we welcome donations to our Kingcoed Meadows Appeal.  We are very grateful to our hosts for allowing us access and making us welcome on their land.

There are more detailed directions below the map or download the leaflet

Ty Mawr Convent (NP25 4RN) can be found from the Monmouth to Trellech road where it is signposted from the junction towards the Whitebrook valley but take the left fork.  Continue along the lane for ½ mile and the convent is signposted on the right.  Alternatively from Penallt, go back towards the Trellech to Monmouth road but take the first turn from the village crossroads to the left. Where this minor road is joined by another road, continue for a few yards and bear right. The Convent is about ½ mile along on the left. Park in the Convent grounds.

Four Acres, Maryland (NP25 4QJ), from the centre of Trellech follow the signpost to the Narth.  After the turning to Beacon Hill there is a second right turn signposted to Maryland. Turn right here and continue along this lane for 250 metres. The meadows are on the left hand side with a driveway with dry-stone walls on either side.

High Springs (NP25 4JQ) is on the road from Mitchel Troy Common heading south east up towards the hill at the top (Craig y Dorth). The fields are on the left as you go up the road up to the hill (the house is on right).


Ty Mawr at our open day in 2013 (Jon Dunkelman)

June 2014 Open Days/Bioblitzes

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Apr 172014


SHORT REVIEW: We had two great days with the weather being mostly kind at both of them.  There will be a full report in our Autumn newsletter but we do want to thank everyone who helped out – the hosts, the experts who led the walks and helped with the identification, and the volunteers who manned the stall and welcomed visitors.  There are too many people to list here, but a special thanks to our two moth trappers, Wendy Tyler-Batt at Great Crwys (who also welcomed us into her lovely meadow) and John Walshe at Kingcoed Farm (who gave a great demonstration despite having had very little sleep looking after the trap).  We’ll work out a full credits list in due course!

UPDATE: An additional site will be open on Sunday 8th June – Upper Red House Farm at Llanvihangel just 2.5 miles from the Middle and Great Crwys sites.  This will be open from 1.30pm and we shall have maps available at Middle Crwys.

This year our open days are combined with bioblitzes and will feature plant identification, butterfly and bird walks, and opening moth traps.  You can join in as much as you like – help record species as part of the bioblitz, benefit from our experts knowledge, or just come and enjoy the beautiful meadows.  You are invited to bring along a picnic and join us for lunch.

On Sunday 8th June, the events will be held in the meadows of Paul and Kate Mobbs-Morgan at  Middle Crwys, and Alex and Simon Dawson at Great Crwys, both near The Hendre at NP25 5NL – directions and more details

On Sunday 15th June, Rachel and Tudor Morgan are opening their fields at Kingcoed Farm near Raglan, NP15 1DS – directions and more details

Many thanks to Paul, Alex, Simon, Tudor and Rachel for accommodating us.


The meadows are open 10.30 am to 4.30 pm and entry is free

Moth traps will be set the previous night at both sites, and opened between 10.30 and 11.15 am.  Moths will be potted-up and be available for people to see during the day.  Experts will be on site on the 8th to open the traps and help with identification.

Flower and bird walks will start at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm with leaders Stephanie Tyler at the Crwys sites and Linda Smout at Kingcoed

Lunch and get together for information exchange at 12.30 pm

Open Day Sites

Sunday 8th June – Middle Crwys and Great Crwys, The Hendre NP25 5NL

The Middle Crwys site is a series of fields grazed by working Ardennes horses, some pastures on a south-facing slope and adjacent broad-leaved woodland; a small scrubby copse with some grassland. Great Crwys is a garden with a pond and some wild areas below the garden that are allowed to grow as a meadow.  A range of plants occur at these sites.


From the Hendre if coming from Monmouth on the B4233 Abergavenny road after the small cross roads in the village take the next turn to the right  and continue on this minor road (ignore turning to Nant y Coy Farm); go past a wood and continue on until a right hand bend. Go around the bend and almost immediately at Upper Crwys at SO442157 is a turning to the left down a narrow track to Middle Crwys at SO440160 on the left; further down the track which you can walk is SO439162 Great Crwys. There will be MMG signs.

(Click on symbol in top right for full screen view of the map)

Sunday 15th June – Kingcoed Farm near Raglan, NP15 1DS

Kingcoed Farm meadows were in a Tir Gofal agreement and have gradually become more species-rich with an abundance now of Spotted and Marsh Orchids. It is hoped an area of woodland and a wet pasture will also be included in the survey area.


Take the small road from the Mitchel Troy to Raglan road near the tractor yard (at SO426085) before the road reaches the Raglan by-pass. Follow this minor road south over the dual carriageway and then slowly wind up a hill past two woods on your right. Just as you enter Kingcoed with the second wood on your right, turn left into Kingcoed Farm at SO427057 and park at top of field. This will be signposted.

(Click on symbol in top right for full screen view of the map)

MMG Event Dates for 2014

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Jan 192014

wall_calendarDates have been set for two work parties, our Spring Meeting, and our Open Days in the coming year.  There will be more information about each of these nearer the time, but for now here’s the basic information for your new diaries.

Work Parties

All volunteers are welcome to help at these work events, and we are very grateful for all hands.

Sunday 9th March at Ty Major, Forest Coal Pit, Abergavenny

Sunday 16th March – bracken and bramble clearing from the churchyard at St Mary’s Churchyard, Tintern.

Details and Location

Spring Meeting and AGM

BOOKINGS NOW OPEN – details and booking form

Thursday 10th April, 7 pm.  This year our meeting will be held at The Babington Centre in Trellech, where we have been helping the trustees to convert their grounds to flower-rich meadow.  The main speakers will be George Tordoff from  Butterfly Conservation Wales  and Mike Kilner, Gwent spider recorder.   We’ll have news of our past year and future plans, and plenty of chance to chat with other meadows people.

The Babington Centre – Location map

Meadows Open Days

This spring we are adding a Bioblitz to each of our Open Days.  Anyone can take part, helping to identify and record species found at the site.  Or you can just come and enjoy the meadows.

Sunday 8th June:  members at The Hendre will be opening their meadows – Paul Mobbs-Morgan at  Middle Crwys, and Alex and Simon Dawson at Great Crwys (both NP25 5NL)

Sunday 15th June: our Open Day/Bioblitz will be at Kingcoed Farm, Usk NP15 1DS, where the fields are owned by Tudor and Rachel Morgan.

Many thanks to Paul, Alex, Simon and Rachel for accommodating us this year.

IMG_0553 Northridge heath spotteds_1200 OpenDay2012_JD0552_Northridge
Memories of last year’s open day at Northridge House (Pictures: Jon Dunkelman)

2013 Open Day Meadows: 16th June

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May 152013

On Sunday 16th June meadows will be open around Trellech.  Visits can be made between 11am and 4pm. Directions for each site are given below the map.  For meadows open on 9th June click here.

View MMG Open Days 2013 in a larger map

New Grove Farm and New Grove Meadows
NP25 4AF

GWT site grid reference SO 501 066

New Grove Farm is owned by Peter and Pam Lloyd. Their fields and land by the entrance drive is beautiful species-rich grassland. Their field lies adjacent to the Gwent Wildlife Trust reserve that is made up of four adjacent meadows.

The Lloyds’ fields and the northern two fields of the GWT reserve are amongst the very best wildflower meadows in Britain – their grassland flora is indicative of an unbroken history of traditional management. In contrast, the southern two fields have been reseeded and fertilised in the past but the Trust is now working to restore their past glory. In June there is an amazing profusion of Common Spotted-orchids. Twayblade, Adder’s-tongue fern and Moonwort have also been recorded here.

From Monmouth, leave south on the B4293, signposted Trellech and Mitchel Troy. Approximately 1 mile from Monmouth, take the left fork, signposted Trellech , Penallt and Chepstow. Continue along the B4293 up the hill and past the turning to Whitebrook and The Narth on the left. Soon on your right you will see a wind turbine in a small field; turn right soon after this into a tree-lined drive to the house. You can walk from the Lloyds’ land into the GWT Reserve


Ty Mawr Convent Meadow
near Penallt NP25 4RN

Grid reference SO 505 078

Tymawr Convent grounds have been open before but are a popular site. There is an apple orchard and hay meadow with a wonderful diversity of flowers, as well as seats where you can sit and enjoy the spectacle. Flowers include Spotted, Pyramidal and Twayblade Orchids, Red Clover, Birds-foot Trefoil and Ox-eye Daisies and many more.

Ty Mawr Convent can be found from the Monmouth to Trellech road where it is signposted from the junction towards the Whitebrook valley but take the left fork. Continue along the lane for ½ mile and the convent is signposted on the right. Alternatively from Penallt, go back towards the Trellech to Monmouth road but take the first turn from the village crossroads to the left. Where this minor road is joined by another road, continue for a few yards and bear right. The Convent is about ½ mile along on the left. Park in the Convent grounds.

Four Acres
Maryland, The Narth NP25 4QJ

Grid reference SO 519 059

The meadows surround the house with small areas in front and behind kept as lawns. The grassland is very species-rich which becomes more evident when within the grassland itself. Wildflowers to be seen include one of the largest populations in Monmouthshire of the gorgeous Greater Butterfly-orchid. (Other species to be seen include Common Spotted-orchid, Lousewort, Tormentil and the Common Vetch.)  These meadows are open thanks to the tenant Nikki Godfrey, who will provide teas.

From the centre of Trellech follow the signpost to the Narth. After the turning to Beacon Hill there is a second right turn signposted to Maryland. Turn right here and continue along this lane for 250 metres. The meadows (called Four Acres) are on the left hand side with a driveway with drystone walls on either side.

Lydart NP25 4RH

Grid Reference SO 499 093

This small triangular meadow at the end of Barabara and Terence Newby’s garden is very rich in plants. These include Twayblades and Spotted-orchids and the local Meadow Saffron.

Go uphill from Monmouth on the Trellech road B4239 around the bends. Bear left 2 to 3 miles from Monmouth at Lydart where signed to Penallt. Park on the left after 200 m and the small field is on your right between the Penallt and Trellech roads. Take care with traffic when crossing the road. If coming from Trellech turn right about 200m past the phone box near the Mitchel Troy turn to the left. Beware as this right turn is rather difficult and it is best to pull into the layby on the left to negotiate.

Open Day Meadows: Sunday 9th June

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May 132013

On Sunday 9th June our open meadows are all in the Shirenewton area.  Visits can be made between 11am and 4pm. Directions for each site are given below the map.  For meadows open on 16th June click here.

View MMG Open Days 2013 in a larger map

Northridge House
Usk Road, Shirenewton NP16 6RZ

Grid reference ST 467 953  Map

This meadow and woodland plantation of about 5 hectares was acquired by Ann and Michael Robinson in 2001 as neglected pasture, overgrown with bramble, bracken and encroaching trees. It faces south with fine views and is bounded by a stream with some mature trees including Small-leaved Lime.

Cattle and sheep grazed the land before native woodland was planted with a grant from the forestry commission. In addition several specimen trees have been planted to give interest including Maples, Tulip trees, Magnolias and Cornus.

From Chepstow take the B4235 to Usk for about 5 miles. Pass ‘The Carpenters Arms’ on right and then ‘The Huntsman’ on right. Exactly one mile from the Huntsman towards Usk is a sign ‘Pant y Cosyn’. Turn right down this lane and the meadow gate will be signposted on the right.

From Usk take the B4235 towards Chepstow for about 6/7 miles. The Pant y Cosyn turn is to the left after the turn to Bully Hole Bottom.

Pennsylvania Farm
Usk Road, Shirenewton NP16 6RZ

Grid reference ST 463 951

Jessica King’s meadows at Pennsylvania Farm comprise  a large meadow on the west side of the Usk road, less than half a mile from the Northridge House turning (see above), and a smaller field on the east side with the farmhouse. Please note that the road is dangerous and parking is not easy on the main road.  It is possible to walk from Northridge House.

Between Shirenewton and Mynyddbach

The Shirenewton & Mynyddbach Fields Association Limited (SAMFAL in short) was formed in 2006 to protect and enhance the biodiversity and special ecological value of the ‘Green Wedge’ between the villages of Shirenewton and Mynyddbach. There are 11 acres of mixed habitat in two fields divided by a small stream with meadow areas occupying around 50% of the site.

From Chepstow take the B4235 to Usk for about 4 miles. Take the left turn to Shirenewton after about 200 yards you will see a field gate on the right with a ‘Heritage Lottery’ sign attached. Park by the gate and use the pedestrian gate to the right of the field gate to access the fields. 

From Usk take the B4235 towards Chepstow for about 8 miles. Pass ‘The Huntsman’ on the left then ‘The Carpenters Arms’ on left then take the next right into Shirenewton.

More details of the location of the fields can be found on their website www.shirenewtonfields.org.uk

Parsons Grove
Earlswood NP16 6RD

Grid reference ST 453 945

This is a good chance to see this rich area of woodland and five species-rich pastures by the Cas Troggy Brook, courtesy of Joni Gooch.  There is more information about the meadows and detailed directions on the Parsons Grove web site.

From Shirenewton village drive north past the village hall on the left and continue to the first turn to the left. Continue along this narrow road, following the signs to Parsons Grove. Parking will also be available at Oxpool Cottage just before Parsons Grove.


Meadow Open Days June 2013

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Apr 142013

This year we are holding open days over two weekends, on Sunday 9th June and Sunday 16th June.

On Sunday 9th June MMG members in the Shirenewton area will be opening their meadows for visitors, and in the evening we shall be holding a get together to celebrate our 10th anniversary and mark the launch of our book about the last ten years.  Many members have contributed their own stories and photographs for the book, which is being funded by the Sustainable Development Fund* and the committee is currently hard at work putting it all together.

Meadow locations: Sunday 9th June

Launch party details

On Sunday 16th June we shall be visiting members’ meadows around Trellech.

Meadow locations: Sunday 16th June

We do hope all our members (and guests) will be able to visit at least one or two of our sites, and you will all be welcome at our party on 9th.  So put the dates in your diary and let’s hope for better weather this June!

*The Sustainable Development Fund is a Countryside Council for Wales initiative in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Review of MMG Events in 2012

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Aug 072012

By Steph Tyler

New Grove Farm, May 2012

The first outdoor meeting was at Pam Lloyd’s fields at New Grove near Trellech. This was well attended with 18 people helping to count Green-veined Orchids in Pam’s two fields and the grassland area adjacent to her drive and in each of the Gwent Wildlife Trust’s four adjacent fields and to carry out surveys of all associated plants within a one metre radius of a selected orchid (in the densest area) in each field.

Orchid Counting

The counts will have been underestimates as many flowers were only just emerging but in Pam’s fields we noted 148 flowers, in the Trust’s two species-rich fields were 2483 and in the first of the semi-improved fields to the south were an incredible 2211 orchid flowers and just 14 in the field closest to the entrance to Loysey/Wet Meadow Wood.

Other species of note included Early Purple Orchid, Adder’s Tongue fern in Field 1, Twayblades, much Spring Sedge, some Glaucous Sedge, much Bulbous Buttercup, Milkwort and Cowslips.

Thanks to Pam Lloyd for letting us park at New Grove Farm and walk her fields and to GWT. Ann Robinson took plenty of photos of groups of people and Jon and Marilyn Dunkelman arranged for a photographer to come along and he took many photos of people and orchids. Many thanks to all who came and helped carry out the counts and plant surveys.

Then came a series of Open Days on successive weekends between 3 June and 8 July with a Bioblitz organised by SEWBReC at Tymawr on 23 June. Although the Tymawr Bioblitz had a good crowd to identify plants, birds, insects and anything else that people came across, the Open Days were poorly attended. No doubt the weather played a part in keeping people at home but members who didn’t venture out missed some treats. Richard Cornock on two weekends escorted visitors around his smallholding where he has planted annual crops of plants such as Corn Marigold to provide winter food for finches and other birds. He has also developed a hay meadow, ponds and some rough grassland for Barn Owls to hunt over. His enthusiasm was infectious and all who came were impressed by what he has achieved. Joni and Chris Gooch opened their lovely property – Parsons Grove near Earslwood on what turned out to be a fine sunny day although recent rain had swollen the Cas Troggy Brook. Those who came enjoyed the wonderful views from the top of the hill and walks down through the fields and woodland where an array of plants including Spotted Orchids, Ox-eye Daisies and Ragged Robin were to be spotted. Sheelagh Kerry and Peter Smith opened their hill farm near Bettws, Abergavenny in early July – again the attendance was very disappointing but the afternoon was bright and sunny and the few visitors admired the wonderful views across the valley towards the Sugar Loaf and west towards the Beacons. The hay fields had numerous Spotted Orchids with a few Marsh Orchids as well as an array of other flowers and meadow grasses including the uncommon Yellow Oat Grass and in the spring lines and flushes were various interesting sedges and rushes.

There was an opportunity too to see hay meadows and an old orchard at Flaxley near Little Dean where Chris Parsons of the newly formed and very active Dean group manages these for their flowers and invertebrates. Of particular note at Flaxley is the abundant lovely sounding Corky-fruited Water Dropwort.

Next year we may have fewer Open Days but perhaps have two or three sites open on any one weekend. Your views are welcomed and any offers or suggestions of sites to be open would be appreciated.

Steph Tyler

Pictures by Keith Moseley