Piddle Brook Meadows
Know before you go
Parking informationLimited parking on roadside
Please keep to the public footpath and permissive path; can be muddy and slippery when wet. Access via kissing gates.
When to visit
Opening timesDawn to dusk
Best time to visitMay to June
About the reserve
The trees and hedgerows around these important meadows are home to birds, insects and small mammals; the song of the whitethroat can be heard during spring and summer.
To enhance the diversity of the grassland throughout the meadows we take a hay cut in summer and graze the fields in autumn. We’re also re-pollarding some of the trees and managing the hedges and brookside vegetation to provide dense cover for nesting birds. Pollarding involves cutting off branches above head height that encourages a dense head of foliage and branches. This helps trees to survive longer and provides valuable wildlife habitat.
Three flowers found in these meadows – downy oat grass, dropwort and meadow rue – are especially scarce and their presence has helped part of the fields to be officially recognised as a Local Wildlife Site. These make up a network of sites that are managed for wildlife and geological features.
The flowers are at their best in early summer and visitors should look for yellow rattle, lady’s bedstraw, salad burnet and sweet vernal grass. Lucky visitors may spot a kingfisher or even an otter using the brook and nearby vegetation for hunting and resting.
The meadows are adjacent to our Naunton Court Fields nature reserve; two arable fields farmed in a wildlife-friendly way to conserve rare arable plants. Due to the fragility of this site reserve please stay on the public right of way and the permissive path.