The exploration of historical information about local meadows as a way to engage people locally in conservation of the meadows was trialled as part of this project. Helen Nicholas from Gower Unearthed was contracted to explore the historical background to Prior’s Meadow.
The resulting report ‘Mines and Meadows’ report establishes the strong historical and cultural links of Prior’s Meadows and how it is used and valued by local people.
Setting out the historical context can uncover a narrative which starts to explore the relationship between people and the land.
The report on Prior’s Meadow gives an interesting example how the story of a relatively small area of land can link into industrial story of the whole Gower and South Wales region.
Prior’s Meadow is relatively unchanged for 600 years and for many local people holds strong memories of time spent in nature. Exploring the historical context of the meadow has linked people’s memories to the distant past and help them understand the meadow better.
Establishing this historical context therefore enhances cultural significance and can play an important part of future meadows conservation strategies and how to engage local people in their future sustainability.
This is why a future project on the Gower will seek to build on this example and develop similar stories for other meadows and also hedgerows (and perhaps other traditional boundary features) on the Gower.