Forgotten Floodplains Appeal

Hardwick Green Meadow (c) Wendy CarterHardwick Green Meadow (c) Wendy Carter

Our public appeal to raise £50,000 towards the cost of purchasing Hardwick Green Meadows in the southwest corner of Worcestershire has been successful. Thank you to everyone who donated.

We have now completed the purchase of these beautiful and rare floodplain meadows.  Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Severn Waste Services, The Banister Trust, Alan Evans Memorial Fund, Rowlands Charitable Trust and other charitable trusts for their generous donations. 

Thanks also to Esmee Fairbairn Foundation for initially purchasing the land and giving us the opportunity to raise funds to save these rare and important meadows for the future.

You can read more about this fantastic news on our Hardwick Green Meadows - saved! news story.

The meadows delight with their wildflowers & butterflies, enhanced by glimpses of hares & the presence of an otter.

Chris, volunteer reserve manager  

There is nothing quite like a wildflower meadow on a summer day – the sheer beauty of myriad flowers and grasses creating the setting for butterflies, bees and countless other insects, birds and mammals.

The meadows are of national and international importance. What marks out Hardwick Green Meadows is the survival of a particular collection of plants and the rarity of such floodplain meadows in the UK. They are rich in plants such as great burnet, pepper saxifrage and corky-fruited water dropwort.

The rich flora creates habitat for insects including butterflies such as meadow browns and marbled whites as well as birds including cuckoos, blackcaps, reed buntings, common and lesser whitethroat; barn owls have been seen too. Brown hares are a frequent sight and an otter has been filmed on the watercourses running through the site.

There has been a significant decline in the number of traditional hay meadows, with an estimated 97% lost since the Second World War. Floodplain meadows are rarer still with only an area of 3,500 acres, the equivalent of the footprint of Heathrow Airport, remaining in the UK. In this quiet and often forgotten corner of the county Hardwick Green Meadows represents 1.5% of all floodplain meadows that remain in the UK.

Why not watch our short video to find out just why Hardwick Green Meadows are so special.

A living landscape

Brown hare (c) Elliot Neep

The purchase of these meadows epitomises our Living Landscapes approach of bigger, better and more connected.  Hardwick Green Meadows are part of a cluster of important floodplain grasslands, creating corridors and networks of habitat.  

The Trust already owns nearby Marshlands Meadow, just over two acres of wet grassland designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).  Marshlands Meadow itself adjoins the much larger and privately owned Burley Dene SSSI. Our own Hill Court Farm is just one mile away, connected by the Eldersfield Brook as part of the historic Longdon and Eldersfield Marsh complex, now dissected by the M50. 

With Hardwick Green Meadows in our ownership, we can not only secure this critical part of this living landscape but, through restoration work and careful management, we can enhance its wildlife value and recognise the historic natural world.

We need your help

If you would like to help support our work at Hardwick Green Meadows or across Worcestershire, you can join us, make a donation or volunteer with us

Thank you for your invaluable support at a time when our local wildlife is more at risk than ever.

Great burnet at Hardwick Green (c) Wendy Carter