The ‘Friends of Longrun Meadow’ was established in 2010 working with Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) to manage and maintain the open space, and encourage the local community to use the land through sporting activities, holding events and looking after the wildlife and environment of the meadows. In 2014 the Friends took on a greater role over the management of the meadows through a three year agreement with the Council and were provided with a small amount of funding to undertake some management of the natural landscape, such as hedge management, the woodland copses and the willow cathedral.

In 2013 the Friends group entered the meadows into an Entry Level Stewardship agreement to provide additional funds. The funding helps to contract a tenant farmer to take the grass for hay each year, thereby helping the wild flowers and grasses to florish. In addition, the Friends were successful in a grant application to the Somerset Community Foundation matched with funding provided by TDBC to start a wild flower restoration of Cathedral Field using yellow rattle.

The Friends also help organise events on the meadows, such as singing in the willow cathedral, a sporting and canine festivals and guided walks. There is a weekly free parkrun event and regular orienteering activities.

The friends are an active community group and would be very interested in anyone that would like to help with the management of the meadows. Everyone on the committee is a volunteer and they all have a passion for the meadows to be an enjoyable open space for the people of Taunton.

Responsibilities of the Friends of Longrun Meadow

  • Entry Level Stewardship agreement and the annual hay cut of the meadows
  • Some of the landscape management for the hedgerows, woodland copses, apple trees and ponds
  • Maintenance of the willow cathedral
  • Maintenance of the Permanant Orienteering Course posts (x 20) at sites around the meadow.  Checking condition, labelling and surrounding vegetation.
  • Updating of Orienteering map and posting on the website.
  • Weed control for ragwort, docks and creeping thistle
  • Liaison with TDBC about events in the meadows, such as timings and location

Responsibilities of Taunton Deane Borough Council

  • Cutting the short grass areas regularly around the oak barn and picnic tables in Barn Field
  • Maintenance of the paths, bridges and oak barn structure
  • Weed control of giant hogweed
  • Emptying the dog and refuse bins

Chair – Paul Allen

The Chair coordinates the Friends meetings and AGM, and is a point of contact for the community group.

Paul has professional experience managing both wooded and grassland habitats. He acts as the liaison with the farmer and leads some of the weekend activities.

Contact Paul at paulallen568@yahoo.co.uk

Secretary – Susan Whitehead

The secretary oversees the Friends meetings and takes actions, as well as being a point of contact for the community group.

Contact Susan at susan.whitehead@hotmail.co.uk

Treasurer – Rachel Davies

The Treasurer looks after the Friends finances including funding from TDBC, Entry Level Stewardship grant and any other funding that the community group may apply for. The Treasurer produces a verified summary of the income and expenditure for the Annual General Meeting.

 

Environment Coordinator and Longrun Conservation Volunteers Manager – Helen Lawy

The Environment Coordinator helps put the Longrun Meadow management plan into action and, as part of this role, manages the Longrun Meadow Conservation Volunteers.

Helen is also a trustee of Somerset Wildlife Trust and coordinates the Taunton Green Forum which is a discussion group of Friends groups for some of the local parks.

Contact Helen at helenlawy@gmail.com

Publicity and Communications Coordinator – Hester Stanwood

The publicity and communications coordinator writes and collates short articles for the website and social media about events and happenings at Longrun meadow.

Hester also volunteers with the conservation group.

Contact at hester.stanwood@gmail.com

Would you like to use Longrun Meadow as a venue for your event?

Please contact Taunton Event Space on 01823 340475  or use the online booking portal.

Find out more about Longrun Meadow through our Friends Group

Interested in keeping up to date with running at Longrun Meadow, find out more at parkrun

Dog walkers, have you heard about our Taunton Dog Owners Forum?