The purpose of Friends of Camden Meadow is, first and foremost, to care for this land. No longer forgotten, but clearly and visibly being managed and maintained.
We're not looking to turn back time to restore the land as a pristine lawn. That would be almost impossible now, and there’s no shortage of neatly lawned crescents in Bath. Nor are we looking to imitate any of Bath’s many other crescent gardens. Quite the opposite. We love the uniqueness of this land. We want to celebrate that.
Our Vision is to nurture and manage Camden Meadow as a sustainable and biodiverse habitat. A space for nature in the urban fabric of the City. A space no longer dominated by a near mono-culture of hazel and laurel, but where many more native plant species can take root and thrive, and where wildlife can co-exist and flourish. And to do this in a way that opens up the wide, expansive, beautiful views from this elevated position over the Avon Valley and the City.
[For those with an urban design interest, this vision chimes with one of the design principles of Georgian Bath, Rus in Urbe]
Work is being undertaken in phases, step by step. This helps us focus our efforts and use our volunteer resources most effectively.
Phase 1 - Tame the Jungle - 2021
Initially we tackled the north-eastern quarter of the land, focussing on taming the overgrowth of hazel and laurel that had been allowed to take over the land in recent years, reducing their height and dominance in order to open the land up and let in some much needed sunlight to the meadow floor and allow other plants to grow, aiding biodiversity. Happily, this work has also restored some of the incredible views across the City and Avon Valley.
Phase 2 - Care & Management / Tree Planting, Bees and Goats - 2022 onwards
Now our work is more about care and management than major change: managing the coppiced hazel (allowing it to grow, but not take over again); expanding the meadow area; planting wildflower seeds native fruit trees (providing a little more diversity, insect friendly blossom, and tasty fruit); managing our two beehives (and harvesting gorgeous, local organic honey!); and of course, goat herding (goats help us keep the weeds down, reducing the need to use power tools)!
Get involved; be part of the Vision. If you have ideas that you would like to contribute, please let us know. Use the Join page to contact us.