Mar 152017


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March 2017

Thursday 23rd: Parish Grasslands Project AGM, details on their web site

April 2017

Monday 3rd: Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, Newport & Valleys Branch, have Steph Tyler talking about Wildflowers & Meadows, Why we need them, how to save them, 7pm, at Newport Civic Centre.  Contact Vic Warren to attend on 01495 755557

Saturday 22nd: The first of Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Botany Walks with Steph Tyler and Elsa Wood, 10am to 3pm.  Booking is essential, contact Steph by email  Details on the GWT web site

Wednesday 26th: MMG Annual General Meeting and Spring Get-together at Llanishen Village Hall.   The AGM starts at 7pm, followed by guest speaker Dr George Peterken, ecologist, author of Wye Valley (from the Collins New Naturalist series) and Meadows (British Wildlife Collection volume 2) and founder of the Parish Grassland Project.  Followed by a buffet supper.  Book online

May 2017

Saturday 20th: Monmouthshire Bee Festival, at Nelson Gardens in Monmouth.

June 2017

Saturday 10th: A guided walk exploring the flowers and plants of Castle Meadows, Abergavenny, with Sheelagh Kerry, 10am to 12 noon. Dogs on leads only.  Please book with Abergavenny local group, Gwent Wildlife Trust, call 0800 298 3656.   Location and more details

Sunday 18th: MMG Open Meadows Day.  A number of meadows will be open, including Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Springdale Farm.  More details to follow


There are many other events organised by Gwent Wildlife Trust, SEWBReC and other conservation organisations so do check out their listings as well:

Gwent Wildlife Trust Events Calendar (external link)

South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC) Events Calendar (external link)

Local Wildlife Site Landowner Morning: 22 January

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Jan 052017

Trooping Funnels (Clitocybe geotropa) in a Local Wildlife Site (picture Jon Dunkelman)

All Monmouthshire Meadows Group members are invited to attend the morning for owners of Local Wildlife Sites at Llanishen Village Hall on Sunday 22 January 2017, 9.30am to 1pm.

There will be talks on Grassland Fungi, Amazing Molluscs of the Gwent Living Landscapes, Wye Valley Woodlands, Pine Marten Reintroduction Feasibility, and Orchard Conservation as well as time to meet other wildlife site owners, discuss issues and find out about the current survey work being undertaken on grasslands.

The event is organised by Gwent Wildlife Trust and you can book a place by contacting Andy Karran, their Wildlife Sites Officer, e-mail or 01600 740600.

Download the programme, including directions and map of Llanishen Village Hall

Autumn 2016 Newsletter

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Oct 132016

Autumn 2016 NewsletterOur latest newsletter is available to download here.  Featuring, among other news:

  • An update from our chairman, Steph Tyler, on recent activities
  • News about our latest meadow reserve, Ida’s Meadow in Maryland, The Narth
  • A beautifully illustrated article by Ray Armstrong on moving to Pastures New
  • Low energy hay baling
  • Managing verges for wildflowers in Itton Common
  • Pictures and reports from National Meadows Day 2016

Plus our regular items: first sightings, welcoming new members, reports of our 2016 activities and news of things to come

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

Our Autumn Get-together: 27 October

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Oct 012016

Autumn Meadow (Jon Dunkelman)

Our Autumn meeting this year will be at the Centenary Hall in Usk, on Thursday 27th October.  We shall have our usual buffet supper and plenty of time to chat and socialise with fellow meadows enthusiasts.

This year two of our members will be talking about their meadow experiences:

David Sheers is a committee member of the Monmouthshire Branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural Wales.  He and his wife have a small oasis of species-rich pastures and meadows in a sea of intensive agriculture , at Llandewi Rhydderch near Abergavenny.

Malcolm Schuyl is a professional photographer, and a keen moth-trapper.  He and his wife came to live at Maypole near St Maughans three years ago and have a small farm with species-rich pastures, woodland and a stream. Continue reading »

Committee Changes at MMG

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May 022016

Maggie and Ann at our book launch party in 2014 (Keith Moseley)

Retiring and New Committee Members

At April’s AGM we said thank you to five retiring committee members who have all contributed a huge amount to MMG’s work over the last few years.

Glynis Law actually left the committee a few months ago, but continues to be an active member of the group.  Martin Fenn-Smith and Martin Suter retired from their roles as Treasurer and Membership Secretary respectively, and two of our longest serving members, Ann Robinson and Maggie Biss also stood down after years of active support and commitment.

Maggie was with Diana Bevan, a founder member of MMG and has been our secretary since the Group was formed. She has been a key person especially during the early years when she lived at Pilstone House and has loyally supported our Open Days and other events and for many years produced MMG’s newsletter.

Ann Robinson has also been a loyal supporter of the Group. She helped with the production of MMG’s anniversary book and hosted the launch of this book at her lovely meadows near Shirenewton.

In their place we have gained some new members. Cecilia Davies, who has served on the committee for a year now, is our new membership secretary; she stood in for three months as Treasurer, preparing the accounts for the AGM.  Rachel Morgan is a new recruit and she takes over as treasurer.  Judith Carruthers has also officially joined the team after being a frequent volunteer helper at our events.

Can You Contribute to MMG’s Work?

We are still looking for one or two more volunteers to join the committee to get back to our full numbers. You don’t have to be an expert in any particular field as we need people with many different skills, whether it’s practical help at work parties, administrative help, contributing to event organising, or becoming an ambassador for the group. We would particularly like to do more with young people.  If you would like to know more please talk to one of our committee members.

Spring 2016 Newsletter

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Mar 302016

MMGNewsletterSpring2016CoverOur Spring Newsletter is now available to download here.

This issue includes:

  • An update on our newly purchased meadows at Kingcoed and plans for activities at the site
  • An update from our chairman, Steph Tyler, on recent activities
  • An exciting project at the National Botanic Garden of Wales to rescue Monmouthshire’s  Meadow Clary
  • Habitat Aid, suppliers of wildflower seed and other resources for  habitat restoration and new native planting schemes
  • An article about PONT: Pori Natur a Threftadaeth (Grazing, Nature and Heritage), Wales’s not-for-profit grazing organisation

Plus our regular items: first sightings, welcoming new members, and many pictures from our 2015 activities and news of things to come

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

2016 Spring Get-together and AGM

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Feb 132016
Honey waxcap: Malcolm Schuyl

Honey waxcap, Hygrocybe reidii: Malcolm Schuyl


Many thanks to everyone who came along to our AGM on 14th April.  New committee members were elected, and we said goodbye to some of our retiring committee.  More details will be posted on our Committee page.


Our Spring Meeting on Thursday 14 April will again be held at Bridges Community Centre, in Monmouth.  (It is helpful to get your bookings early so we can plan the catering – booking information below)

Directions to Bridges Community Centre

This year we shall be celebrating our success in purchasing  Kingcoed Meadows, and looking at progress on producing a guide to Grassland Fungi of the Lower Wye Valley with a talk from Jon Dunkelman (who is organising the project) and fungi expert Elsa Wood.  Together with photographers Malcolm Schuyl and Keith Moseley, they have been surveying fields all over the valley this winter, and have come up with some fascinating results.

Start time is 7 pm.  The AGM will be held first, and will not take too much time. We’ll have other news of our past year and future plans, and as always plenty of opportunity to chat with other meadows people. There will be a cold buffet supper.

Booking Information


Bookings are now closed

Kingcoed Meadows: All Systems Go!

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Feb 042016

Kingcoed Meadows near Raglan

After over a year of fund raising we are absolutely delighted to announce that we have reached our main target of £96,000 to buy the two traditional flower-rich meadows at Kingcoed.

We had secured grants from various trusts including the Banister Trust, Waterloo Foundation, Alan Evans Memorial Trust, Foyle Foundation, New Grove Trust, Gwent Wildlife Trust, the Ricardo Crawley Trust and Waitrose Community Fund, then in December we received confirmation that Biffa Award are to give us £45,000 towards the purchase of the fields.  Biffa Award is a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK (more information on

We have also been overwhelmed by the generosity shown by so many MMG members, well-wishers and local and national organisations.  We knew it was an ambitious target, but we had to give it a go to save these precious wild flower meadows.

The appeal is still open, as we have still to fund a leaflet about the fields, an information board for the site, and to cover the costs of running events (all of which we want to do, but are also conditions of the grant funding we have received).

We would like to sincerely thank Biffa Award for their substantial grant as well as all the other Trusts and individuals who have kindly donated to the cause and made the purchase possible.  The Kingcoed meadows are part of Monmouthshire’s environmental heritage and we hope that people will come along on our open days to enjoy this beautiful, natural habitat.

The meadows will be open to the public on National Meadows Day on 2 July 2016.

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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 Autumn Newsletter

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Oct 012015

NewsletterAutumn2015Our latest newsletter is available to download here as a pdf (about 3Mb):

Contents of this issue include:

  • An update on our appeal to purchase Kingcoed Meadows
  • Information about our Contractors List
  • Meadow restoration by Green Hay Strewing, a demonstration attended by Sheelagh Kerry and Martin Fenn-Smith
  • A report from Ray Armstrong, with some beautiful pictures, of the wildlife in his new home
  • Pictures from the open day at Veddw Garden in aid of our Kingcoed appeal
  • An article by Steph Tyler on late-flowering plants, such as Autumn Ladies Tresses, and their vulnerability
  • An important piece by Nicola Bradbear, director of Bees for Development, on the frightening effects of neonicotinoids
  • Some lovely First Sightings sent in by members

That’s in addition to our usual news and events.  This month we have kept some of our pictures back to the Spring 2016 issue as there were too many to fit into this edition.