Know before you go
Parking informationLimited parking on Shadowbrook Lane
Grazing animalsYes - Seasonal Grazing
Relatively flat reserve with soft patches. Please keep to the field boundaries
Limited parking around the reserve and access involves climbing over a gate.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
What's it like to visit?
Take yourself back in time to a slice of agricultural history - discover a meadow that is unfertilised, unsprayed and unploughed. This meadows’ diversity has been maintained over centuries by the unaltered, traditional haycutting and grazing regime which we keep alive today.
A stream called Shadow Brook runs through the meadows with ancient hedgerows around the edges. The stream divides the site into two dry meadows, on the eastern side, with two wet meadows to the west.
What might you spot?
Especially colourful in June and July, both wet and dry meadows give rise to swathes of wild flowers typical of their habitats. Delights such as meadowsweet, betony and the very local meadow thistle can be discovered in the damper meadows, which flood regularly in the winter. Cowslip, oxeye daisy and pignut create a medley of colour alongside delicate heath spotted-orchids. A delightful mix of grasses, including quaking-grass and crested dog’s-tail, love the drier eastern meadows.
On bright summer days, visits are rewarded with an abundance of butterflies, mating, egg-laying and drinking nectar amongst the flowers. Common blue and small copper butterflies join meadow specialities such as chimney-sweeper moth and six other nationally scarce insects.