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Eynsham's Nature Recovery Network! News

Art in the Meadow 16 Jul 2021 Sunday 18th July 3.00-5.00 pm

Art in the Meadow - Open to all abilities - Art Competition! Sunday 18th July 3.00-5.00 pm.

Come and enjoy Long Mead’s Wild Flower Meadow at its most beautiful; a rich tapestry of flowers, grasses, butterflies and a host of other wildlife.

Find out about floodplain meadows and their vital role in providing the food we eat, preventing floods and storing carbon.

Catriona Bass and Kevan Martin, who have lived and worked there for twenty years, can tell you about the Thames Valley Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project, and their work to create a connected meadow network along the Thames with neighbouring landowners.

You can help them raise the profile of these vanishing habitats by entering the national meadow art competition, run by their partners The Floodplain Meadows Project.

We will spend time sketching and colouring the meadow and flowers at first hand with guidance from Eynsham artist and tutor Alice Walker.

Open to all artistic abilities from absolute beginners to experienced Picassos. Art materials provided (but you are welcome to bring your own). Ages 8-108.

Places are limited please register on the NRN website. The event is free to NRN members but we are charging £11 to non-members. This is mainly to encourage you all to sign up on the NRN website since our admin team is struggling with two sets of mail-outs, and to support the work of the NRN. (Long Mead and Alice are working pro bono).

Alice Walker reports on Art Classes on Long Mead:

This July members of Alice Walker’s art class were fortunate enough to visit Long Mead Meadow - where the Eynsham meets the River Thames, South West of Swinford Bridge.

Long Mead is part of the last three per cent of Britain’s ancient floodplain hay meadows. Today, only an area the size of Heathrow Airport remains due to postwar demands for intensified production. But they were once the most valuable land in Britain, their fertility being enhanced by the river silt carried in during floods. They even feature in the Domesday Book. These meadows allowed villagers to overwinter their livestock since they not only provided grazing but a hay crop as well. Importantly, the soils of these meadows store carbon more effectively and securely than trees and, since they still part of 21st agriculture, they offer a real (and currently overlooked) opportunity to mitigate climate change while also supporting food production and enhancing biodiversity.

The Meadow is ablaze with colour and activity at this time of year: a rich tapestry of grasses and wild flowers, home to and visited by a rich abundance of birds, bees, butterflies and invertebrates. Despite this riot of wildlife it is an oasis of calm. For artists it provides endless inspiration and possibility -from landscape vistas across the river to the bridge and over Wytham Woods -to the complex embroidery of Great Burnet, Meadowsweet, Ladies Bedstraw and Purple Vetch -not to mention the colour palette of greens, golds, copper, crimson and many more.


Click to enlarge