Church Commissioners to create new nature reserve on the edge of Hereford


The Church Commissioners for England has signed a tenancy agreement to promote nature alongside sustainable agriculture on Hereford’s Bartonsham Meadows. This agreement will help restore the land to a more natural state and create a wildlife haven for nature and people alike.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust will take over the management of the 100-acre site on the banks of the river Wye. Plans are in place to plant grass and wildflowers, restore ancient hedgerows, reintroduce cattle grazing, and allow for seasonal flooding.

Bartonsham Meadows, Hereford Tom Booth

Once established, the new floodplain meadows will help protect the city of Hereford from flooding, improve soil and water quality, and become rich new habitats for plants and wildlife. The Trust also plans to improve public access by restoring existing footpaths, offering local people beautiful new spaces to explore just outside the city.

The site has been owned by the Church Commissioners for England since the 1850s and had previously been used for cattle grazing. Restoration and improvements to the site are already underway.

Bartonsham Meadows, Hereford Lisa Stevens

Guy Webb, Senior Asset Manager at the Church Commissioners for England, commented: “The restoration project for Bartonsham Meadows provides a unique opportunity to work with the local community, improve biodiversity, and help meet our net zero aspirations in a way that suits this particular property perfectly. We look forward to working closely with Herefordshire Wildlife Trust to help deliver significant real-world change.”

Barn Owl at Bartonsham Meadows - Jon Hawkins Jon Hawkins