Hurst Water Meadow Trust News

Meadow matters

Our thanks to Andrew Townsend for cutting the hay on the Hurst meadow again this year. It was cut on 26th August and baled on 29th, the cut having been delayed by wet weather earlier in the month. Andrew will use the hay for his livestock during the winter.

The later cut allowed flowers such as knapweed to set seed which was enjoyed by flocks (or charms) of goldfinch. Also, from late July onwards there were reports of barn owls hunting over the Hurst in the evenings.

Thank you to regular walkers in all three meadows for your diligence and help over dog mess and litter, especially picking up the odd wrapper or empty can that has been discarded. This is much appreciated.

Money matters

Having completed our annual accounts up to the end of March we are beginning to look ahead at how Brexit might affect us. Last year our total income was £13,700, of which £6,000 came from farming grants. Almost all the rest came from donations and associated tax credits. We spent a little over £12,000, of which £9,000 was for land maintenance (mainly tree surgery beyond the competence of our volunteers, and tractor mower running costs). Other significant costs included fees of £1,200 for preparing our new 10 year land maintenance plan, and £650 for our liability insurance.

The reality is that our total actual expenditure is dwarfed by the unaccounted value of the weekly work of our land management volunteers. This exceeds all our expenditure put together. They gain a real sense of personal ownership of the meadows, as well as good exercise and learning new skills. They meet on Tuesday mornings and some weekends. Contact Chris Smith to find out more about Tuesday sessions (chriscssmith@btinternet.com) or Graham Beland about weekend sessions (belandgraham@gmail.com).

We have to plan that Brexit will mean lower farming grants, perhaps none, and we will become more dependent on donations. Small amounts from lots of people will go a long way to keep us solvent. If you might consider making a contribution to our work please contact me and I will be pleased to send you more information. Thank you.

Gillian Johnson (Hon. Secretary) on behalf of the Trustees
01865 340925 email: admin@hurst-water-meadow.org.uk

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Posted on September 5, 2017 in Events in and around Dorchester

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