Back to reserve map

Hollybed Farm Meadows

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.


All abuzz

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.


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.


The reserve was purchased with help from the Esmee Fairburn Foundation, the Heritage Lottery Fund and members of the Trust.  


More information


Visit the Coronation Meadows website for more information about this national project.


Biffa Award logo

The National Lottery Heritage Fund logo



Nearby nature reserves

Drake Street Meadow
2 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
Duke of York & Ryefield Meadows
2 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
Melrose Farm Meadows
3 miles - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

New Road
WR13 6BU
Map reference
Great for...
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Dawn to dusk
16.00 hectares
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Living Landscape schemes
Malvern Chase
Walking information
Please keep to the public rights of way and keep dogs on a lead.
Limited parking on side of road.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Sheep; cattle
Reserve manager
David Molloy
Tel: 01905 754919


Factsheets and guides for your visit