PEOPLE of all ages gathered at a Hereford meadow this week delighted at the news that it is to become a nature reserve.

Supporters were snapped by our photographer at the Green Street entrance of Bartonsham Meadows.

The popular walking spot lies to the southeast of the city, with it meandering the river Wye. The meadows have been owned by the Church Commissioners for England since the 1850s and have previously been used for cattle grazing.


But now Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (HWT) will take on the management of the site having signed a long-term lease.

HWT plans to restore the expanse of grassland to be wildflower meadows, which will give a home to iconic meadow wildlife such as skylarks, barn owls while pollinators including orange-trip butterflies and bumblebees will benefit from the spring and summer flowers.

It will take some time to restore the site which the Trust plan to reseed with locally sourced wildflower and grass seed before beginning sympathetic management through some seasonal cattle grazing as well as cutting the meadow annually and making hay. They also plan to restore old hedgerows and consider reintroducing former ponds.


There are also plans to improve the public access by restoration of the existing footpaths. 

The news comes as welcome relief to Friends of Bartonsham Meadows, who have campaigned for the site to be protected for wildlife and access for local residents.

Its chair, Ruth Westoby said: “This project has such potential to bring the local community together and provide solutions for regional flooding and river pollution and mitigate global climate change.”