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Hereford Wildlife Trusts Strategy Launch

Last evening Accessible Herefordshire spent the evening in the company of local nature supporters from all walks of life to celebrate the launch of their new strategy - a Wilder Herefordshire - More Nature Everywhere.


Jamie Audsley, Chief Executive Officer led the proceedings under a beautiful canopy of trees, the smell of wood fired pizza wafting tantalisingly across the audience. Beer from Wye Valley Brewery and cider from Little Pamona Cider was refreshingly cool and delicious. We heard from passionate supporters and partners of the new strategy and heard what they were excited about for the new strategy and how they would help.


Enthusiasts in attendance included local farmers, Hereford Council, HCA, Wye Valley Brewery, Little Pamona Cider, Ruth from Friends of Bartonsham Meadow, Merry Allbright, Helen from Orphans, Nicola from Friends of the Upper Wye to name a few. Over the last 6 months members, supporters, and partners have been working together to refresh and focus strategy.


Accessible Herefordshire's Top Takeaways

Nicola from Friends of the Upper Wye talked to us about Citizen Scientists and Wildlife Wardens which we liked the idea of - people getting involved, gathering precious data, testing and talking about their findings, outreaching and informing others. Here at Accessible Herefordshire we offer training to create Accessiblity Ambassadors - champions to give an accessibility viewpoint and provide practical advice for improvement. This doesnt necessarily mean expensive upgrades, new equipment and big outlay. It can often mean simply taking a photo of a step, measuring it and informing visitors or guests that it is there so they can can make their own mind up if the can manage that step or not. Providing a central resource of helpful access information on a business website is called an Accessibility Statement and can improve your audience/visitors by improving your SEO with key words. Get in touch for more info.


We enjoyed listening to Patrick, a local farmer who acknowledged himself and other farmers gathered as "early adopters of stewardship" but who were sadly seen as social pariahs in the early days. He was relieved to see the change and acceptance of more integrated farming policies into the mainstream. He issued caution though "Food has to be produced in a more sustaninable way going forwards" - this was possible, he said, by collaboration and engagement with farmers. There is cultural change afoot - Farmers are not the Enemy! Farmers are partners in an adventure ! We also heard from a farmer from Wellington who had collaborated with WLT and other bodies, in order to contribute to relief of flooding in local areas in Hereford.


Abigail Appleton, Principal of Hereford College of Arts also referred to the generalised anxiety in young people caused by the climate crisis. She talked of the "joy" in education, carbon literacy training, preventing damage to the environment, a pro nature curriculum and encouraging young people to pay attention to their natural surrounding and staying connected to it.


Vernon Amor, MD of Wye Valley Brewery talked of WVB passion and long term commmitment to support WLT. He told us how much pleasure just rewilding parts around the Brewery in Stoke Lacy had resulted in increased nature and wildlife. Ponds for rain water retention were quickly teaming with life including newts and leeches.


So Why? We all need nature - for sustainable food production, good health, mental wellbeing and a thriving economy. Ecological and climate crisis and the anxiety it causes in all of us - especially our young people was discussed. It was agreed by all that by offering the chance for all to get in involved and make some impact - however small, was helpful in lowering this anxiety.


By leading local action in the county, enabling communities, businesses and wider partners to get involved, the Wildlife Trust hope to recover nature. Accessible Herefordshire is supportive of this new strategy - Good accessibility to nature is good for all.











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Easy access wins Tip 1

Clear Signage: Ensure that signs directing to accessible entrances, toilets, and parking spaces are clear, visible, and easy to understand and at a position a wheelchair user can read the sign.

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