New local branch group launches with a city ramble

Wednesday 17th May 2017

Despite thunder, lightning and bursts of torrential rain, seven hardy folk turned out to support the first event organized by the emerging Hereford City branch of the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust. Ranging in age from 17 to 60, the group walked with leader Nic Howes from the confluence of the Wye and Eign Brook upstream along the latter to the bridge where it passes under Ledbury Road.

The aim of the interpretative walk was to provide geographical and historical background to the Brook and to investigate its richness and potential as wildlife habitat. In less than half a mile of the Brook’s passage through the City, it was proved that the habitat was accommodating kingfishers, mallard ducks, bats and otters, as well as diverse vegetation including many fine trees. Remains of stonework associated with Eign Mill were seen opposite the eponymous allotments.

In the Rose Garden public amenity area a “kick sample” was taken in Eign Brook. The invertebrates identified included a Burrowing Mayfly larva, an indicator of well-oxygenated (i.e. unpolluted) water; this was at a point on the Brook below much of the City.

This short excursion proved that there is great potential for identifying valuable wildlife habitat and associated public amenity in Hereford City. The way forward is to build a small committee and membership to organize events including talks and practical survey and conservation work. The emerging group intends to work with Richard Fishbourne of Bugs and Beasties, the Tree Warden Network, Herefordshire Council and other interested parties on promoting “green and blue corridors” in Hereford.

Future Hereford City branch events are planned to include more explorative walks further upstream along the Eign/Widemarsh/Yazor Brook, practical days out and talks on nature conservation - keep an eye on the What's On pages for details.