Can you help town meadows continue to thrive?

Julia Brotherton at Baydons Meadow

HARDWORKING volunteers have reflected on another busy year of safeguarding a popular wildlife haven, which included planting more than a thousand plants and bulbs.
Baydons Meadow sits on the southern bank of the River Avon just a short walk from Chippenham town centre at the end of Monkton Park.
After many years of neglect it was bought by Chippenham Borough Lands Charity in 2000 and is now maintained by local volunteers.
At their recent AGM, the Baydons Meadow Wildlife Group reported on the wide range of activities throughout the last year.
Volunteers took part in more than 30 different sessions including hedge-laying, hay-raking, coppicing, mowing and weeding, as well as hosting visits and leading a moth and bat evening for the local community.
They also planted more than 1,130 plants and bulbs including bluebells and other species.
Chairman Julia Brotherton, from The Butts, said: “The group enjoyed another very busy year but we would love to welcome more volunteers so that we can carry out more tasks.
“It’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise while learning new skills, meeting new people and supporting local wildlife.”
The riverbank and hedgerow feature a variety of trees and shrubs including hazel, maple, crab apple, hawthorn, ash and willow, with hundreds of wildflowers in the meadow itself.
Together, these create an ideal environment for butterflies, dragonflies, birds, bats, mice, voles, frogs and toads.
Volunteers have installed an information board close to the cyclepath so that visitors are aware of what to look out for, and have placed log seats for visitors.
“The meadow is a wonderful spot to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature and we are so lucky to have this piece of countryside on our doorstep,” said Julia.

“We just need a few more people to help us to maintain it throughout the year.

“Volunteers don’t need any experience, they just need enthusiasm. All necessary gloves and tools are provided.
“Working together, we can safeguard the beauty and tranquillity of this lovely field.”
The Baydons Meadow Wildlife Group normally meets on the first Sunday morning of every month. The next workparty is on Sunday, January 1, from 10.30am.
For further information on volunteering, or to arrange school trips to visit the site, call 01249 651783 or visit www.baydonsmeadow.org.uk

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