MONMOUTHSHIRE Meadows Group (MMG), a charity that aims to conserve and restore flower-rich grasslands, planted a new hedge in Trellech in memory of one of its founders, local naturalist Diana Bevan, on March 2.

Current chair of the group, Dr Stephanie Tyler, said: “On a beautiful spring day some 30 volunteers gathered at Wet Meadow fields to plant a new hedge in memory of Diana, who lived in Whitebrook and was co-founder and original chair of MMG.

“Diana was a prominent advocate of conserving traditional wildflower meadows, working tirelessly to protect valuable sites in the Trellech area. She was also heavily involved with writing the history of the Whitebrook Valley.

“After Diana passed away last year, we decided to commemorate her work by planting a hedgerow along the northern boundary of Trellech Wet Meadow.”

Local resident Dick Coates masterminded the day and is leading the team who will manage the reserve. The hedge and a protective fence are being funded by grants from the Wye Valley AONB and Welsh Government. Monmouthshire County Council has agreed to lease the fields to the Meadows group which will manage the site as a nature reserve with Gwent Wildlife Trust.

Volunteers from the AONB, led by Sarah Sawyer, joined them on the day and within two hours over 600 young hedge trees had been planted, staked and fitted with rabbit guards.

Dr Tyler added: “It’s a wonderful example of how much can be done in a short time with a team of enthusiastic volunteers. The hedges and fencing will allow us to manage the site as a traditional meadow, focussing on increasing the wildlife value of the land.

“It will be an accessible resource for the people of Trellech and the surrounding area, who will benefit from having such a valuable wildflower reserve in the heart of their community. Diana would have been delighted.”