Flora Locale Training Courses and Spring Meeting

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Jun 112014

logo-flora-localeFlora locale run training courses across the UK and you can browse the full range on their web site.

Of particular interest to MMG members is the course Gardening for bugs, bumblebees and butterflies taking place in Chepstow on Wednesday 25th June.  It’s a day course (9.30am to 3.30pm) facilitated by Marc Carlton, and costs £40 or £25 for members of Buglife and the Butterfly Conservation Trust.

You can book online (use the link above – booking options are at the bottom of their web page)

Flora locale Summer Meeting will be held on 27th June hosted by The River Bourne Community Trust in Salisbury.   Topics will include community lead ecological restoration, opportunities for funding through the Community Infrastructure levy, the work of Kew’s native seed hub project. They will also be presenting their new initiative Natural Access.  This is a web platform to enable Flora locale trustees and trainers and the members of the Associate Network to share information and ideas; for more information go to www.naturalaccess.org.uk.  To book go to www.floralocale.org and click on the Associate Network tab.

Flora locale have many other courses if you don’t mind travelling – here’s some from their list:

Grassland creation and restoration Thu 13 November Buxton Derbyshire
An introduction to scything (Gloucestershire) Thu 03 July Stroud Gloucestershire
Enhancement and management of grasslands Thu 19 June Bishop’s Waltham Hampshire
Grassland management, restoration and creation under Higher Level Stewardship Thu 10 July Bath Somerset
Management of wildflower grassland Wed 23 July Aberdeen Aberdeenshire
Ponies and biodiversity Sat 09 August Llangadog Carmarthenshire
Practical scything and grassland management Wed 02 July King’s Lynn North Norfolk
Seed collecting and use for restoration and re-introduction Tue 08 July Wakehurst Place Sussex


Hay for Sale from Gwent Wildlife Trust

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Jan 022014
Picture: bales of hay by alegri from 4freephotos.com

Bales of hay by alegri from 4freephotos.com

UPDATE: Now all sold

Approx 150 organic small bales of hay made on Pentwyn Farm SSSI grassland are available for £3.50/ bale, buyer to collect.  They will sell smaller quantities, and it’s a good source of wildflower seed as well.

For more information please contact Tim Green , Farm and Wildlife Development Officer at Gwent Wildlife Trust

Tel 01600 740600,  Email: tgreen@gwentwildlife.org


Book a Place at the MMG Autumn Meeting

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Oct 042013

Wednesday 30th October
The Priory, Monmouth – 7pm

Join us for an evening of meadows and meeting like-minded people.  Speakers will be:

  • Anne Wareham on the Veddw garden mini meadows
  • Abergavenny Community Orchard
  • Local botanist Elsa Wood on autumn meadow fungi

There will be a home-made buffet supper, and plenty of chance to meet and chat to fellow members.  You are also welcome just to come to the talks.

Prices for the buffet meal:
£12.50 per person including a glass of wine.  Non-members are welcome at £15 each.

How to find Monmouth Priory

It is helpful to know numbers in advance so if you would like to come please contact Maggie Biss or fill in the form below. You can send payment by cheque, made payable to Monmouthshire Meadows Group, to  Maggie Biss, The Old Rectory, Hope Mansell, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire HR9 5TL.  Alternatively if you prefer to pay using Internet banking we’ll send details of our account when we receive your booking.


Diary Date for Autumn Meeting – Wednesday 30th October

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Sep 162013

Remember the start of summer? Northridge meadow on  our Open Day, 9th June (Jon Dunkelman)

Our Autumn meeting will be on Wednesday 30th October at The Priory in Monmouth.  We’ll have a variety of speakers and a buffet supper.  This is a great chance to chat to other members, pick up tips and see how everyone has fared this summer, so make sure it’s in your diary!

More details to follow.

Managing your Land for Wildlife Morning – Event for Local Wildlife Site Owners

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Sep 152013

Gwent WIldlife Trust9.30 am to 1 pm Saturday 26th October, at Llandogo Memorial Village Hall

A morning of wildlife talks and informal discussion for the owners of Local Wildlife Sites in Monmouthshire, organised by Gwent Wildlife Trust. Free.

Members of Monmouthshire Meadows Group are also very welcome to attend.

The morning is focused at Local Wildlife Site owners and will provide the opportunity to learn more about the wildlife these special sites support and how to encourage it.

There will be a look at the current grant scheme that’s available for Local Wildlife Site owners, a talk on bumblebees and bee friendly land management, plus the chance to learn more about other insects and spiders with a talk/walk around the nearby Llandogo Churchyard.

There will also be the opportunity to share experiences with other Local Wildlife Site owners in Monmouthshire with a talk from a local landowner, together with the chance to pose your wildlife questions to our speakers over tea and coffee.

The event is FREE. In order for us to estimate the numbers of people that might attend please ring the Trust on 01600 740600 or e-mail rprice@gwentwildlife.org if you’d like to attend.

Location Map



Conservation Grazing Seminar: 5th November

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Sep 042013

Following on from their sheep keeping courses in September and October,  Gwent Wildlife Trust are holding a seminar on Conservation Grazing on Tuesday 5th November at Pentwyn Farm, Penallt.

Jacinth and Jemima, picture Jon Dunkelman

10am start. Cost £15 for GWT members £20 for Non members. Contact GWT for details and to book a place:  01600 740600 or  email info@gwentwildlife.org

The Trust owns and manages several grassland reserves, which require grazing either throughout the year or in Autumn/Winter after the hay has been gathered.   They have used Hebridean, Welsh Mountain and Hill Radnor sheep to manage their land, and each has its own characteristics, but there are many other options.  MMG members have diverse ways of keeping their grass under control, including horses, cattle, Alpacas and even geese, and of course we have our own excellent Exmoor ponies (pictured).



MMG Spring Newsletter Published

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Jun 152013

The latest issue of our newsletter has just been published.  Contents include

  • Details of our new book and our launch party
  • News of our spring meeting and AGM
  • Information about the new public body Natural Resources Wales
  • Report from Gwent Wildlife Trust (celebrating their 50th anniversary)
  • The proposed County Council initiative on using unused land for community use
  • Chairman’s report and an update on our activities

Download the pdf version here (2MB)

Bee Keeping Courses

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Jun 152013

Fancy having your own source of honey, or just owning bees for their environmental work?

Monmouth-based charity Bees for Development is running training courses for bee keepers in September, at Ragman’s Lane Farm in the Forest of Dean.

Sunday 15th September:  Bee friendly beekeeping with the Warré People’s hive – a Masterclass with David Heaf.  A one-day course on bee friendly beekeeping using Warré People’s Hive

Saturday and Sunday 21-22 September:  Weekend Course on Sustainable Beekeeping.   An introduction to sustainable approaches to beekeeping, suitable for those with or without previous knowledge

You must book in advance.  Information on their web site  or phone 01600 714848

Bees for Development also provide training on the beginners’ bee-keeping courses at Humble by Nature – Kate Humble’s training farm near Penallt.

Summer Bioblitzes

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Jun 112013

Two bioblitz events coming up this summer, both at beautiful historic locations:

Saturday 27th July:  Llanmelin Hill Fort near Shirenewton

From 10 am onwards.  Meet at the small car park opposite Coombes Farm drive at ST464928 on the minor road running southwest from Shirenewton village towards Llanvair Discoed. Follow signs in through the wood to the hill fort. This bioblitz is organised by Gwent Wildlife Trust for CADW.   Llanmelin Hill Fort

Saturday 17th August: Llantarnum Abbey near Cwmbran

10am to 4pm . This bioblitz is organised by SEWBReC – details from their web site (pdf).  You must register your interest in attending by emailing info@sewbrec.org.uk, and you will be sent further information.






Inside Llanmelin hillfort   © Copyright Jeremy Bolwell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Sheep Keeping Courses

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Jun 012013

Balwen sheep, picture Amanda Copp

Gwent Wildlife Trust, in partnership with the Wye Valley AONB and the Parish Grassland Project, are running a series of autumn courses on sheep keeping.

Friday September 6th:  A Beginners Guide to Sheep Keeping will look at the basic requirements to start keeping a small flock of sheep.  More details on the GWT web site

Friday October 18th:  A Practical ‘Hands On’ Sheep Course with Hilary Jones, a local vet who will guide you through the various health issues of keeping sheep and how to prepare them for lambing. The course will then go outside and examine GWT’s breeding flock of pedigree Hebridean and Hill Radnor sheep.  More details

In November (date to be confirmed) there will be a Conservation Grazing Seminar lead by GWT looking at its work with Conservation Grazing throughout Gwent.  [UPDATE: seminar will be on 5th November, see this post]

For more details of these courses, please contact Andy Beadsworth on abeadsworth@gwentwildlife.org or 01600 740600.

To book a place, please speak to Leigh or Kay at GWT on 01600 740600.

There’s more information on all GWT courses on their web site