Marvellous Meadows of the Wye Valley

Premiere of our short film, Marvellous Meadows of the Wye Valley       1pm, Wednesday 23rd September

Followed by lively conversation with local experts on the subject of: Why do meadows matter? How can we make space for wild flowers and grow food too?  

Pose your questions to our panel: James Hawkins, Chair of Herefordshire Meadows, Caroline Hanks, Herefordshire Meadows Coordinator and Stephanie Tyler, Monmouthshire Meadows. Facilitated by Ian Rappel, Development Manager for Wales’ 5 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Audio Description Available: Audio Introduction to Marvellous Meadows of the Wye Valley

Audio Introduction Available: Marvellous Meadows of the Wye Valley Intro Notes


In conversation will be:

Ian Rappel is a geographer and ecologist by background and has been working in conservation for NGOs and in academia since 1993 – an eventful career that has seen him involved in a wide range of issues from dolphin bycatch surveys to the biodiversity impact of the World Bank. He worked as nature reserves manager for various Wildlife Trusts and was CEO for Gwent Wildlife Trust for 5 years, where he played a key role in the successful campaign to conserve the Gwent Levels in the face of the planned M4 relief road. He is now Development Manager for Wales’ 5 AONBs. Ian lives on the northern fringes of the Black Mountains.







James Hawkins is Chair of Herefordshire Meadows. His family have been tenant farmers at Warren Farm, on the National Trust’s Brockhampton Estate in Herefordshire for 20 years. They have 300 Hereford-Angus cross cattle a year for Waitrose and 70 pedigree Hebridean sheep, bought to graze the common and smaller areas on the farm that need managing for the National Trust. They have more than 100 acres of traditional meadows and do a lot of work on meadow restoration. They have bird seed mixes, ensuring nearly 60 species of birds were spotted on the last Big Farmland Bird Count they participate in annually.  Many banks haven’t been touched too much, allowing orchids to grow in these fields and even in the arable margins.




Caroline Hanks is a freelance farm environment adviser spending most of her time with farmers, smallholders and anyone who wants to make their grassland more flower rich. She works with Herefordshire Meadows, a group of meadow owners conserving, restoring and creating meadows for wildlife, pollinators, farm livestock, heathy soil and water, carbon sequestration and much more. Caroline lives on the River Wye just upstream of Hereford and is delighted to share the buzz of summer meadows with anyone who has few minutes to sit among the fabulous plants that grow there.





Stephanie Tyler is a British ornithologist, zoologist, naturalist, conservationist, and author from Monmouthshire. She is particularly known for her work on Dippers and the conservation of river habitats. She gained a PhD in Zoology at University of Cambridge. Her ornithological work has taken her to Ethiopia and 5 years in Botswana. Today she resides in the Wye Valley and is devoted to conserving and restoring flower rich meadows of Monmouthshire. She is joint Vice-county Recorder for the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland and is passionate about plants, invertebrates, birds and all other wildlife.


Join us online at 1pm on Wednesday 23rd September.