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BASIS appoints Teresa Meadows

BASIS appoints Teresa Meadows: Teresa Meadows has been announced as the head of environment and public affairs at BASIS in a new role for the organisation.

The timely appointment comes after BASIS detailed its plans to deliver training for advisers following the announcement of the proposed Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes.

BASIS appoints Teresa Meadows

BASIS appoints Teresa Meadows

Teresa is BASIS and FACTS qualified and hails from a career background in water catchment management and environmental stewardship schemes. As well as working as a knowledge exchange manager for the AHDB for almost five years, she was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2020.

“In my role I will be responsible for the development of environment-related training and professional development and I will be working in partnership with key industry individuals and organisations,” she says.

Stephen Jacob, BASIS’ chief executive officer, explains that the new role is a result of BASIS’ expansion and continuation to thrive in the industry.

“There’s big changes happening in agriculture and it’s important that we have a team of experts on hand to deliver training to ensure that those who are providing advice are delivering the best possible information.”

Teresa is well-suited to the newly created position with it combining both her area of expertise and her passion for people and professional development. She is looking forward to furthering the suite of BASIS qualifications in this area.

“With the environment, climate and sustainability becoming more important as we experience change in this sector, I am keen to develop new training opportunities for advisors, farmers and land managers and showcase the level of knowledge and expertise that BASIS qualified advisers hold,” adds Teresa.

For more information, or to get in touch with Teresa, please visit https://www.basis-reg.co.uk/team.

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Head Greenkeeper Talks Flower Meadows

Head Greenkeeper Talks Flower Meadows: In a special column, Rob Peers, head greenkeeper at Hever Castle Golf Club talks about an exciting first year in the job:

I took up my post as head greenkeeper at Hever Castle Golf Club just over a year ago – and what a year it’s been.

Head Greenkeeper Talks Flower Meadows

One of the greatest challenges has been a tropical heatwave that seems to have lasted all summer!

For the team at the Golf Club, watering this summer took on a new and interesting dimension with the addition of nine new flower meadows.

The meadows are situated in Hever Castle’s gardens and Hever Golf Course: they cover an area of 4,500 square metres on Lake Walk (in the Castle grounds) and the golf course itself.

Each of the nine selected areas had different considerations and their own micro climate, environment and purpose. It was really important to us to select sites that would improve bio-diversity and functionality in areas which had previously been dominated by aggressive species such as bramble and nettle.

My team nicknamed the first area they developed ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’, and it was the first point of contact as we passed through the fence from the golf course into the grounds of the castle. We felt when we entered this part of the castle’s beautiful grounds that we’d escaped!

When we began prepping the ground back in March we could hardly dare dream of the kaleidoscope of rainbow colours that would burst forth beside the Lake.

The fourteen species including Calendula officinalis (Marigold), Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower), Cosmos bipinnatus, Linum grandiflorum (Flax) and Papaver rheas (Common Poppy) have delighted visitors and the team alike.

We sowed the rainbow mix beside the lake in May and the flowers should bloom until November. This is my preferred mix and includes marigold, cosmos, flax and poppy – it looks great and is a very good pollinator.

A real highlight for me this year was the rediscovery of the Anne of Cleves Bower House folly.

I’d been walking in the woodland area with our CEO Duncan Leslie who was explaining the work that was ongoing on the Loggia in the castle grounds. The water in the lake had been lowered and as we walked beside, what I believe was the original path of the River Eden, I spotted a step in the water. I broke off suddenly from our conversation and rushed to take a closer look.

The steps were part of the folly, which had previously been hidden among the under-growth.

We believe the folly dates from the time of the Astors but it looks like they used medieval brick to create it, and there are two heraldic shields for Anne of Cleves.

It was thrilling to uncover it for the first time in years and bring it back to life with a more subtle and feminine flower mix for Anne.

We planted species such as Anethum graveolens (Dill), Borago officinalis (Borage), Callistephus Chinensis (China Aster) and Lupinus nanus (Lupin) here.

The meadow areas on the golf course itself have a more sympathetic visual appearance with more native and naturalised species from a mix called ‘Flora Britannica’ which includes Achillea millefolium (Yarrow), Aquilegia vulgaris (Common columbine), Borago officinalis (Borage) and Campanula carpatica (Tussock bellflower).

It not only looks great, but it fits in beautifully with the landscape and has also proved to be another fantastic pollinator.

The creation of the meadows has been a real boost for the team – when the flowers began appearing, it’s no exaggeration to say that we’d go down and giggle like school children as we marvelled at the changing floral landscape.

Even though the meadows are still in full bloom, my thoughts are turning to next year and to possible new meadow areas.

If you like meadows, then why not have a go – if you get the right seed mix and you prepare the ground well, then the results are spectacular.

I don’t know whether the flowers in the meadows would have been higher if we’d had more rainfall, and we can only speculate at the moment why some areas have dominant yellows and others have more pinks – we will continue to monitor their progress and note down the different habitats – the amount of light in one, and the subtle differences of soil in others, and see what happens next year.

Watch this space!

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