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Duke of York & Ryefield Meadows

Delightful untouched meadows with a springtime show of wild daffodils.

More than 120 species have been recorded at Duke of York including green-winged orchids, cowslips, great burnet, pepper saxifrage, dyers greenweed and adder’s-tongue fern.  A spectacular show of native wild daffodils blooms each spring, carpeting the field  in a sea of yellow.

Daffodils also feature in the fields at Ryefield Meadows (The Gerald Dawe Reserve), just across the road.  These meadows add common spotted orchid, goat's-beard, greater bird's-foot trefoil, knapweed and lady's bedstraw as well as ragged robin and meadowsweet alongisde the stream edge.  The poorer sward of the smallest western field has been strewn with hay from Duke of York to help increase the species diversity.

The diversity of flowers across the meadows attracts a range of butterflies and bees; more than 20 species of butterfly are found here including meadow brown and common blue.

There are traces of ridge and furrow at Duke of York, indicating that ploughing once happened here.  For centuries, however, the fields at Duke of York and Ryefield have been used to grow hay. We’re continuing the tradition of allowing a hay crop to grow from April; cutting in July and grazing from then (cattle at Duke of York and horses at Ryefield).

The Duke of York meadow takes its name from the adjacent public house from whom the field was purchased by the Trust.  Ryefield Meadows was donated to the Trust by Valerie Dawe in memory of her husband, Gerald.


Development Nature Reserves

These meadows are part of a number of grasslands and orchards that make up one of nine development nature reserve plans. We believe that a landscape-scale approach to wildlife conservation is essential. Wildlife needs space to adapt and move to cope with the consequences of climate change. Practically, this means that to deliver our biodiversity vision, we need to develop a coherent network of large areas linked by corridors that can provide benefits for people as well as for biodiversity.

Why are the Malvern Chase Meadows development nature reserves?

In a pastoral landscape these scattered sites demonstrate how important each sensitively managed piece of land has become as part of a network of sites that must be increased for people and wildlife to benefit. We will use them to demonstrate the importance of protecting the existing wildlife value and encourage other land owners to manage their land and hedgerows less intensively.

These 10 reserves lie within Natural England’s Severn and Avon Vales Landscape Area, and within the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s Malvern Chase Living Landscape.

Nearby nature reserves

Hollybed Farm Meadows
2 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
Hardwick Green Meadows
3 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
Marshlands Meadow
3 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Nr Birtsmorton
WR13 6JQ
Map reference
SO 782 353
Great for...
stunning views
Best time to visit
Mar - Jul
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Opening Times
Restricted access to Duke of York during flowering period March to August. View wildflowers of Duke of York from the car park & please do not stray from the footpath through Ryefield Meadows. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
5.00 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Malvern Chase
Severn & Avon Vales

Walking information
View wildflowers (Mar-Aug) of Duke of York from the car park & please do not stray from the footpath through Ryefield Meadows.
Small car park on A438 50 yards south east of Duke of York public house at Rye Street
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Cattle (Duke of York), horses (Ryefield)
Reserve manager
David Molloy
Tel: 01905 754919


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