SEWBReC Training Courses

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May 202013

Each year SEWBReC (South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre) run a series of Species Identification Training Workshops.  The aim is to stimulate interest in recording species, and to encourage more volunteers to generate biological records. This year’s workshops are:

  • Wednesday 3rd July – Introduction to Grasses
  • Saturday 7th September – Woodlice
  • Saturday 28th September  – Introduction to Rust Fungi
  • Saturday 5th October – Craneflies

Each course runs from 10am to 4pm and all are at beginners’ level.

There is no charge, but booking is essential and if they are over-subscribed places are allotted by random selection on the closing date. There are 10 places on each course.

There’s more information, including location and trainer details, on this flier and on the SEWBReC website.

If you would like to attend any of the courses, you should complete the booking form on the SEWBReC website and return it to by 28th May.

Bumblebee Conservation Event: Friday 7th June

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May 142013

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust are holding an event on :

7th June, 10am to 4pm at Newport Wetlands

The day will include a number of talks and a workshop on conserving bumblebee habitats in Wales, including meadow management, conservation grazing, reen and ditch management, and landscape scale conservation projects.

Speakers include MMG Chairman Steph Tyler, Rebecca Price of Gwent Wildlife Trust, and representatives from RSPB, PONT and Wildlife Trusts Wales.

For more information and to book a place contact Sinead Lynch, Conservation Officer (Wales):  Tel. 01656 332960


Party Invitation! Sunday 9th June

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May 142013

To: Members of Monmouthshire Meadows Group

The Committee of the Monmouthshire Meadows Group invites MMG members to join them at a party to launch ‘Wildflower Meadows in Monmouthshire: Ten years of conserving and restoring flower-rich grasslands’, a book compiled by Meadows Group members to celebrate 10 years of successful meadow making.

The party will be held at the meadow (in barn if wet) of Northridge House, Usk Road, Shirenewton, Monmouthshire, NP16 6RZ from 6pm to 8pm following the Open Day held in meadows of the Shirenewton area.

Please reply to: before 2nd June if you would like to come.


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.

This project has been supported by the Sustainable Development Fund, a Natural Resources Wales initiative in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)


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

Join us at our Spring Meeting, 11th April 2013

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Mar 022013

This year’s Spring get-together, incorporating our AGM, will be held at The Bridges Community Centre in Monmouth on Thursday 11th April, starting at 7pm.  Everyone is welcome and we would love to see you all there, to help us celebrate our 10th anniversary.

We’ll get through the business quickly then our chairman Stephanie Tyler will give a talk on Wildlife in our Meadows.

This will be followed by a home-made buffet supper, and plenty of chance to meet and chat to fellow members.

The cost is £12.50 per person including a glass of wine, and there will be a bar.  Non-members are welcome at £15 each.  Anyone who would like to come to the AGM and talk but not stay for supper is most welcome – members for free, non-members at £3.00.

If you would like to come, would you print the reply form (download form) and send to Maggie Biss, The Old Rectory, Hope Mansell, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire HR9 5TL enclosing a cheque made payable to Monmouthshire Meadows Group.  Alternatively if you prefer to pay using Internet banking you can email Maggie on to book a place and we’ll send details of our account.

Agenda – MMG AGM April 2013

If you have any queries, telephone 01989 750740 or e-mail

Directions to the Bridges Community Centre

See you there!

Mind where you step! Counting orchids, May 2012. Picture by Keith Moseley

The Plight of the Humble Bee – Public Meeting

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Feb 202013

Bumble bee, picture by Marilyn Peddle

Thursday April 18th at St. Michael’s Centre, Abergavenny 6.45-9.45pm

Abergavenny and Crickhowell Friends of the Earth are promoting The Bee Cause campaign with an open meeting featuring a number of speakers.  Entry is free.

  • Find out all about bees and other pollinators.
  • Learn about their potentially catastrophic decline.
  • Look at ways of supporting pollinators in our gardens.
  • Examine other actions we can take in our community.


Introduction – The FOE Bee Cause, Sue Harrison
Bumblebees and solitary bees, by wild bee expert Brigit Strawbridge
Honey bees, Tony Shaw, beekeeper
Pollinator gardens, Marc Carlton, ecologist

There will be refreshments (tea/coffee 50p/biscuits 25p) and the evening will conclude with a discussion and suggestions for further action.

For information contact Sue Harrison or Rod Walters

An Evening of Local Birds with the Parish Grasslands Project

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Feb 182013

Mackenzie Hall, Brockweir at 7.15 pm Thursday 7th March 2013

The Parish Grasslands Project AGM and spring meeting on 7th March, focusses on local birds – species, habitats and making your own observations.  The evening features illustrated talks from MMG chairman Stephanie Tyler on local birds of rivers, farms and woods, and from Sarah Sawyer on observing birds at home using a webcam.

Admission is free for members of the Parish Grasslands Project, and donations are welcome from non-members.

There’s more information about the Parish Grasslands Project on their web site

Grants Available for Local Wildlife Sites

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Jan 282013

Gwent Wildlife Trust have fully funded grants of up to £2,000 available for capital works that help enhance and restore Local Wildlife Sites in Monmouthshire.  This is part of their Natural Assets Project, which aims to help identify and support the care of some of the best places for wildlife in Monmouthshire.  So if you are the owner of a designated Local Wildlife Site you can apply.

Surviving untouched in the landscape, Local Wildlife Sites are often small and located on steep or isolated ground. They can face special management challenges. The grant is available to owners of these sites in Monmouthshire for projects that help secure its long term sensitive management and conservation. Just a few possibilities include stock-proof fencing or water trough provision to enable wildflower-rich grassland to be sensitively grazed, restoring traditional field boundaries (e.g. hedge-laying, dry-stone wall restoration), works to control invasive species, small specialised machinery/tools purchase or works to enable machinery to access sites to perform much needed management works.

There are more details on GWT’s Monmouthshire Natural Assets Project page, or for more information and support with applications contact Rebecca Price, Monmouthshire Natural Assets Project Officer, Gwent Wildlife Trust on or 01600 740600.

MMG Autumn Newsletter

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Oct 272012

Our latest newsletter has just been published.  Features include

  • Founder member Ida Dunn
  • Support for the Plantlife Road Verge Campaign and what you can do to help
  • The sad demise of the Grasslands Trust
  • The Million Ponds project
  • Reports of our events over the summer and our autumn get-together

as well as editorial from our chairman and information about coming events

Download it as a pdf here (2Mb file).

Work Tasks at Rogiet Countryside Park

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Oct 192012

We have helped Rogiet Community Council and Tidy Towns with the management of the Rogiet Countryside Park in Rogiet near Caldicott (over the railway line at Severn Tunnels Junction and just to the right). The park hosts a  number of rare and unusual plants in the meadow area.

There will be work tasks there on Tuesday November 6th and 20th and on Saturday 8th December clearing brambles and invading Buddleia bushes so we are looking for volunteers.  If anyone wants further details please contact Steph Tyler (see Committee list)

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