Our largest meadow reserve being restored to former glory.
Nestled between historic Castlemorton and Hollybed Commons, this is our largest meadow nature reserve. One field, Far Starling Bank, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its traditional hay meadow plants that include crested dog’s-tail, common knapweed, meadow vetchling, sweet vernal grass, yellow rattle, goldilocks buttercup, burnet saxifrage and wild onion. More locally uncommon species include adder’s-tongue fern, pepper saxifrage, southern marsh orchid and autumn ladies tresses.
In 2013 we began the process of strewing hay from Far Starling Bank as a way of spreading herbage seeds across the rest of the site to help increase the number and variety of plants and to restore the more improved meadows to their former glory. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Far Starling Bank became Worcestershire’s Coronation Meadow.
Orchard, scrub and woodland
Visitors will discover an old orchard with mature pear trees in one field; we intend to restore this as well as use it to help demonstrate traditional orchard management to local landowners. We planted 27 new local variety perry pear trees during winter 2013/4.
The brook along the southern boundary is fringed by low-lying wet areas of grassland as well as a small alder carr woodland. There are moderate sized areas of scrub in the southern part of the reserve as well as mature hedgerows. We will manage these to maximise their benefit for wildlife.
The rich variety of plants support a wide range of insect life – from bees and butterflies to grasshoppers and crickets that, in turn, support a healthy bird and mammal life. We’ve added to the natural habitat by installing bird boxes around the reserve to help attract more birds.
The reserve was purchased with help from the Esmee Fairburn Foundation, the Heritage Lottery Fund and members of the Trust.
Visit the Coronation Meadows website for more information about this national project.