Apr 112014
JH In the Meadow

Picture: Jeremy Harris

MMG is launching a photographic competition encouraging amateur photographers, young and old, to capture images of flowers, insects, landscapes, or people enjoying our lovely meadows.

The aim is to celebrate the value and beauty of local meadows (including road verges, garden mini-meadows and other similar areas of wildflower-rich grasslands).

Anyone can enter by sending in digital pictures taken this year in Monmouthshire and the surrounding area, which reflect the value of meadows and the aims of MMG.  The winning pictures will be chosen based on interest value rather than technical expertise, so everyone can take part whether you are using an expensive SLR camera or your mobile phone!

The competition will be judged in three age groups:

  • 10 years and under
  • 11 to 16 years
  • Adult – 17 and over

Winners will receive a copy of their picture printed and framed, as well as a certificate.  The pictures will be displayed on the MMG web site.

You can start sending in entries as soon as you like and we will display some of them on the web site to show examples of pictures as they are received.  

Full details including rules and how to submit your pictures can be Downloaded here.  If you have any queries email photocomp@monmouthshiremeadows.org.uk 

Get snapping!

Mar 102014

Click to download newsletter pdf

Our Spring newsletter – issue number 20 – has just been published and sent to members by email.

As well as our usual summary of activities and coming events, we have articles on

  • The Glastir Scheme as experienced by MMG member Carla Edmonds
  • St Mary’s Churchyard in Tintern, written by Diane Parker
  • The County Pollinator Policy – how Monmouthshire plans to let wildflowers flourish in our roadside verges
  • A report of the talks given at our Autumn meeting by Elsa Wood on Autumn meadow fungi, Sheelagh Kerry on Abergavenny Community Orchard and making hay with their hand baler, and Anne Wareham on her garden meadow at Veddw
  • Plantlife’s Say No to the Mow campaign
  • The Wye Valley AONB 5-year management plan
  • A review of a new book from the Gwent Ornithological Society – Birdwatching Walks in Gwent

The higher resolution version can be downloaded here, or members can request a hard copy by contacting us.

Jan 302014

bees_for_development2It’s not too late to support the County Pollinator Policy.  Below is an email circulated to MMG members from Bees for Development who have set up a petition to support the Council proposal to reduce verge cutting. MMG has been supporting the reduction in roadside cutting together with Plantlife and other wildflower conservation groups.  If you haven’t already please consider signing the online petition.

Monmouthshire County Council Proposed Pollinator Policy

An excellent proposal is being considered by our local Council to reduce roadside verge cutting and to create more bee and pollinator friendly planting schemes.  Road safety will always remain their first consideration.  At a Council meeting last week, a petition with 120 signatures against the Proposed Pollinator Policy was presented.

Bees for Development is backing the policy and requests your support to ensure that the Policy is implemented.  Please help in one of these ways:

1.      Sign our online petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bee-friendly-monmouthshire

2.     Send an e-mail, individually or on behalf of your organisation, to Councillor Phil Hobson.   e-mail is philhobson@monmouthshire.gov.uk

You can read the proposed policy and download a letter in PDF at http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/how-to-help/campaigns.

There is a possibility that this Proposal will not go ahead, so please express your support and encourage other people in your network to do so.

Monmouthshire has a real chance to prove its commitment to caring for pollinators.  We hope that other local authorities will follow their good example.

Thank you

Nicola Bradbear
Director, Bees for Development
1 Agincourt Street, Monmouth NP25 3DZ
United Kingdom Tel  +44 (0)1600 714848


The Bees for Development Trust UK Registered Charity 1078803
We help vulnerable communities in poor countries to achieve self-sufficiency through beekeeping.

Local Dexter Beef

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Nov 252013

Members John and Sandra Lee have their delicious Dexter beef for sale in packs ready for the freezer. Please contact them on jwslee@live.co.uk or phone 01600 860933.

Nov 252013

MMG Member Paula Chalinder has eight miniature ponies needing a good home – six mares and two geldings. If you interested in buying these lovely ponies please contact Paula on 01873 855083.

Jacob sheep, picture by Amanda Copp

Another member, Amanda Copp, has sheep for sale, as she is cutting down on her livestock.   Amanda says “Our flock started with 2004 born Jacobs X Texel and we still have some of the originals. Over the years we have mainly used pedigree Jacob rams plus one year using a Badger faced ram.

We have about 6 retired ‘pet’ ewes and because we only breed about 7 each year we have several 3 and 4 year olds that we haven’t bred from. The pets would make ideal lawnmowers for anyone who didn’t want to breed – I am not in a hurry to see them go but if a really good home came along I’d be happy to see them settled.

I have 5 ewe lambs born April this year – all Jacobs – includes one very friendly hand reared who is ideal for anyone looking for an easy to handle ewe and also 5 ewes born May 2012 – all Jacobs, some black and white and some all black”

To find out more, contact Amanda on amanda@lowerglynfarm.co.uk or tel.01600 861856.

Oct 092013

SEWBReC have produced an annual newsletter for the Gwent recording community since 2005, and in October 2008, the first joint Gwent-Glamorgan Recorders’ Newsletter was produced.  Packed full of articles from recorders, the 9th edition has just been published and it is well worth a look.

Download it here from the SEWBReC web site (pdf)

Back issues are also available 

SEWBReC (South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre) is the centre for the collation, management and dissemination of biodiversity data for South East Wales.

May 262013

Common Knapweed found in a road verge – Kate Jewell [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Plantlife’s campaign to stop indiscriminate mowing of roadside verges by councils, destroying valuable wildflowers and habitat, has received national publicity today (BBC web site and Plantlife’s press release)

Road verges need management, but Plantlife say that councils are mowing verges in their care, at the height of the flowering season, too often and leaving the cuttings to lie.  Their survey revealed that more than 75% of the councils contacted cut their verges multiple times over the spring and summer, with not one of them collecting cuttings as part of their routine management.

MMG has supported Plantlife’s campaign for some time.  Our members can help by making a complaint to their council if it happens to a verge they know, and by sending ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of affected verges to Plantlife via their web site www.plantlife.org.uk.  Please let us know if you do this – we can put the pictures on this web site as well.

If you know of a particularly rich stretch of road verge, do please let us know now. Last year following surveys, new road verge reserves were set up.

Oct 102012

An update to a message from MMG members John & Sandra Lee :

Should you be interested, we have Dexter beef maturing now and available for delivery on 24th November
Grass only fed and locally butchered
Naturally Reared Pedigree Dexter Beef
Grass Fed to produce Beef of the Finest Quality
From this Traditional Native Breed
Matured for 4 weeks
Packs of approx 30 lb – £4.50 per lb
John & Sandra Lee
The Elms, Trellech Cross, Trellech, Monmouth. NP25 4PX
Tel: 01600 860667     *****      Email:  jwslee@live.co.uk

Gardening for Wildlife

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Oct 042012

Glynis' picture of Devil's Bit Scabious

Wiggly Wigglers and The English Garden magazine have invited anyone that gardens with wildlife in mind to contribute a blog for their Green & Gorgeous Garden competition.  Glynis Laws, an MMG committee member, has been writing about her garden and wildflower meadow and several of the other bloggers also have wildflower meadows or mini-meadows.

You can follow Glynis and other bloggers if you go to

Apr 092012

Yellow Rattle

In 2011 a grant from Environment Wales enabled Monmouthshire Meadows Group volunteers to visit more sites than would otherwise have been possible, and to resurvey many sites previously visited between 2003 and 2006 in order to assess the effectiveness of management measures.  The report of these visits has been completed and is available here to download.

We are very grateful to Environment Wales for their support.