In the early days of the Meadows Group, we arranged to visit not only nature reserves belonging to/managed by various conservation organisations but also fields belonging to the new group’s individual members. This was a very useful thing to do, and enables the site owner and the visitors to exchange ideas and experience on meadow management or ownership.
It would be nice if we could have more visits like this again during the summer. But it’s up to individual group members to arrange because the site owner is hosting the visit, not the group. It doesn’t need to be onerous, you’re just showing a group of people round your field or fields. It’s up to you when they come, how long for, how many, or whether to offer them refreshments etc.
A few guidelines:
- It’s best to restrict such site visits to CMG members only.
- Don’t put directions and your full contact details on the website or on Facebook, because anybody (not only CMG members) can see them.
- Best to just choose a date and time, and put a post on the website asking anyone interested in coming to phone you or email you to book onto the visit.
- If you’re not sure whether someone who gets in touch is a CMG member or not (we can’t let all members see the membership list because of data privacy regulations) you can ask one of the database administrators who can see the whole list. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and that will got through to the officers who are able to see the whole list.
- You decide how many people (or cars for parking spaces) you want to turn up, and take the bookings on a first come/first served basis. When you’ve got as many as you want, tell the next person who phones or emails that it’s full.
- t’s up to you where they go, but we suggest the visitors are asked to keep away from machinery, warn them about any non-obvious hazards like electric fencing, trip hazards concealed by grass, livestock (wash hands if come into contact), stroppy bee colonies etc. It’s all common sense really, what you’d do if you were showing your friends round.
- When they book, tell them to bring suitable clothing and footwear for walking round your site.
- Keep their contact details safe so that if you need to cancel (family emergency or hurricanes predicted or whatever) you can contact them all again and tell them not to come.
- It’s also up to you to tell them if you don’t want them to bring dogs, or small children.
- If you only get a couple of people showing interest, don’t be disappointed. It’s great to show a small group round, and can be better time spent than herding lots of people. But it’s up to you how many can come anyway.
We (Andrew & Helen Martin) will have an open afternoon at our place sometime this summer so CMG members can come and see our two small fields, which have been managed as meadows for different numbers of years. Keep watching on the website. There will be other site visits being arranged during the year, so keep checking.