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 »

Spring 2017 Newsletter

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Apr 082017
 

Our latest newsletter is available to download here.  It includes our latest news, upcoming events and articles including:

  • An update from our chairman, Steph Tyler, on recent activities
  • News about our latest venture at Wet Meadow in Trellech
  • The Long Forest Project
  • GWT’s Wye Woods Conservation Project
  • Open Meadows Day 2017
  • Monmouth Bee Festival
  • Obituary and news of our hedge planting tribute to Diana Bevan, founder member and previous chair of MMG

 

We welcome items for inclusion in our newsletters, especially pictures of your First Sightings, and longer pieces of interest to our members.  Contributions should be sent to Marilyn Dunkelman, who can be contacted via our online form

Spring 2017 AGM and Get-together

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Mar 162017
 

Wednesday 26th April, 7pm at Llanishen Village Hall

Our Annual General Meeting and Spring Get-together is a great opportunity to meet fellow meadow enthusiasts and catch up on MMG activities.  This year our speaker is Dr George Peterken, well known ecologist, author of several books including Wye Valley (in the Collins New Naturalist series) and Meadows (volume 2 of the British Wildlife Collection).  George is also a founder member of Parish Grasslands Project, our sister organisation across the Wye.

As usual there will be a buffet supper after the talk.

Location

Llanishen Village Hall is situated on Church Road East in the village of Lanishen, just off the B4293 between Chepstow and Monmouth, post code NP16 6QE.  There is a map on the hall’s web site www.llanishenhall.org.uk

Booking

Please book in advance as we need to know how many people to cater for.  You can book online (form below) or contact  Marilyn Dunkelman, 01600 860031 or by email using our Contact Us form.

You can send payment by cheque, made payable to Monmouthshire Meadows Group, to Marilyn at The Beeches, The Narth, Monmouth NP25 4QL.  If you prefer to pay using Internet banking we’ll send details of our account when we receive your booking.

Please contact one of the committee if you need to arrange a lift.

Booking Form
  • Wednesday 26th April at Llanishen Village Hall
  • Costs include refreshments and a glass of wine or you can come to the meeting only
    Members: £14.00 each
    Non-members: £17.00 each
    Meeting only: £3.50 non-members (members free)
    For internet banking please use the reference 'Spring2017' - bank details will be sent to you
  •   Bank Transfer (details will be sent by email)
      Cheque

Members Survey 2016

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Oct 282016
 

grass_management_pieEarlier this year, we decided to undertake a short membership survey as a simple way of giving members the opportunity to describe problems they might have with the management of their meadows, particularly those with whom we have no regular contact beyond the initial botanical survey and advice.   Nearly 40% of the 238 members invited to complete the survey responded. We cannot be sure how representative they are of the full membership but the results have been analysed and a brief summary published in our Autumn newsletter.  For anyone interested in the full survey here it is to download as a pdf:

Membership Survey Final Report 2016

The survey was put together and analysed by former committee member Glynis Laws. If anyone has any comments or questions about the survey, please contact the committee.

Kingcoed Meadows Open Day and Species List

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Jul 072016
 

We held our first Open Day at Kingcoed on National Meadows Day, 2nd July when over 60 people came along to enjoy the meadows in the sunshine.  We were joined by Plantlife Cymru, who were launching their new, family-friendly meadows survey and meadow flower identification leaflet, a great help to visitors identifying some of the ninety species of plants we have on the site.

Many of our visitors asked for a full species list so here it is to download:  Updated plant list Kingcoed Meadows July 2016 (pdf)

We also distributed our leaflet about the Meadows which gives a brief history and why the site is so important to us, and incorporates a map and directions. Download the leaflet (pdf).  You can visit the meadow at any time, all we request is that visitors keep to the edges of the fields.

Following the track: flower walk through Kingcoed Meadows (Phil Pickersgill / Isabel MacDonald)

Following the track: flower walk through Kingcoed Meadows (Phil Pickersgill / Isabel MacDonald)

Hay & Manure Exchange: PONT’s New Project

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Jun 172016
 

PONT_logoPONT,  the Welsh organisation promoting grazing for the benefit of wildlife, has set up a Hay Exchange on their website.

The aim is to help people who need or want hay or farmyard manure to  get in touch with each other.  This will support people who are creating and managing traditional hay meadows by finding an outlet for their products.

The webpage  www.pontcymru.org/en/pont-hay-exchange has a registration system where people can enter the details of what they have or what they need. This includes information about the type of meadow e.g. flower-rich, organic etc. and the type of bales etc.

We encourage MMG members to join in this excellent scheme.  Register first on the PONT site and add a listing each time you have some hay or manure to offer (or you are looking for hay/manure).

 

Four Acres Meadow: Work Party 31st January

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Jan 042016
 
Four Acres meadow on our Open Meadows day June 2015

Four Acres meadow on our Open Meadows day June 2015

Our first event of 2016 will be a clearing up task force on Four Acres meadow in Maryland, The Narth, on Sunday 31st January, from 10.30am to about 12.30pm.

This is the part of Ida Dunn’s property which is being given to Monmouthshire Meadows Group by her beneficiaries, and many of you will have visited on one of the open meadows days we have held there to view the beautiful butterfly orchids.  We are now fully responsible for its maintenance (a task we have been doing for some time on behalf of Ida until her sad death in 2014).  In particular we would welcome help from anyone living near The Narth who would also like to join the small sub-committee we are forming.

The work party on 31st is to clear small overhanging branches, including willow and hazel, and to do some general clearing up, so bring saws and appropriate tools if you can.  The post code of the site is NP25 4QJ and it is shown on this map (done for last year’s open day).  Please park in the woodland car park opposite the turn into Maryland. If you need other directions or information please contact Marilyn via the web form.

 

Our Spring 2015 Newsletter

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Apr 082015
 

MMGNewsletterSpring2015CoverNow available here as a high resolution download (2 MB pdf):

As well as news about our spring and summer events, and of course our Kingcoed appeal, contents include

  • An update on Bee Friendly Monmouthshire and how the council’s Pollinator Policy is doing
  • Our upcoming project, in collaboration with Parish Grasslands Project, to produce a guide to fungi of our Lower Wye Valley grasslands
  • News of a new meadows group in Carmarthenshire
  • Why we should be worried about the Welsh Government’s new Planning Bill
  • An article about Monmouthshire’s GreenWeb
  • The National Plant Monitoring Scheme
  • Advice from Plantlife on creating a mini-meadow in your garden
  • and a list of meadows-related events in our area over the coming months

Bee Friendly Verges: Improving but Still Could Do Better!

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Mar 252015
 

beefriendlymonmouthshire_logoMonmouthshire County Council’s decision last year to adopt a Pollinator Policy was a major step forward for the wildflowers, bees and other pollinators.  The county-wide displays of wildflowers were admired by everyone and were a major step forward.

Link to How you Can Help

There is still some way to go, however, before the Council’s plan is fully implemented.  Part of the plan was to change their cutting regime so verges were cut just twice a year at the appropriate time, in order to allow wild flowers to establish and seed (with the obvious exceptions where safety was a concern).

Bee Friendly Monmouth has been monitoring this and, as far as they can tell, one year on from the implementation of the policy there has been only a 4% reduction in such verge cutting, and in many places the old regime has just continued as before.

To comply fully with their own Pollinator Policy, in the coming year Bee Friendly Monmouthshire wants the Council to –

  1.  Aim for a reduction of at least 20% in verge cutting
  2.  Make all verges a protected area
  3.  Abolish all use of herbicides/pesticides on verges

Then we really will be on our way to a more bee-friendly county.

How You can Help

Get in touch with your County Councillor and ask them to ensure the verge cutting element of their Pollinator Policy is properly carried out.  You can mention the three points above and explain that cutting verges at the appropriate times, allowing the wildflowers to flourish and seed first, is an important part of protecting the biodiversity of our countryside and improving bee populations.

Contact details for your Councillor can be found on the MCC web site.

You can use this Pro forma letter to Councillors if you wish (Word document)

There has been a dramatic decline in bee and other pollinator numbers in recent years, yet these insects are vital links in our food chain as well a maintaining the ecological balance.  It is very important that the Council continues its good work in order to protect them.

Road Verge

Verges can be a haven for wildflowers if they are managed well

 

Hay for Sale from Gwent Wildlife Trust

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Feb 252015
 
Picture: bales of hay by alegri from 4freephotos.com

Picture: bales of hay by alegri from 4freephotos.com

Gwent Wildlife Trust has 300 small bales of hay for sale, located at Pentwyn Farm, Penallt.

It is certified organic and is made from their SSSI hay meadows.

£3.50 buyer collects.

For more information please contact Tim Green – tgreen@gwentwildlife.org

01600 740600