Mottey Meadows National Nature Reserve



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Mottey Meadows NNR near the village of Wheaton Aston is one of the five best examples in the UK of a wildflower-rich floodplain meadow. The reserve is made up of a series of alluvial flood meadows which have been managed as hay meadows for many centuries. The reserve’s grassland supports over 240 species of flowering plants and grasses. Plants such as common meadow rue, yellow flag iris and water mint can be seen in the ditches and in the wetter meadows you will find cuckoo flower and marsh marigold. The star species on the reserve is the rare snake’s head fritillary, and Mottey Meadows is the most northerly site in England where it grows as a truly wild plant. The reserve supports a number of invertebrate species, including many species of butterflies and the rare horsetail weevil. Mottey Meadows is also home to breeding birds such as snipe, curlew and lapwing.

Mottey Meadows National Nature Reserve


About the area

Discover Staffordshire

It was Staffordshire that bore the brunt of the largest non-nuclear explosion of World War II, when a munitions dump at RAF Fauld went up in 1944. It was also the county’s regiment that once boasted within its ranks the most decorated NCO of World War I, in the person of William Coltman (1891-1974). Going back a little further, George Handel penned his world-famous masterpiece The Messiah on Staffordshire soil. During another chapter of Staffordshire history, the county was home to the first canals and the first factory in Britain, and it had front-row seats for the drama surrounding one of the most notorious murder trials of the 19th century, that of Doctor William Palmer.

In outline, Staffordshire looks not unlike the profile of a man giving Leicestershire a big kiss. The man’s forehead is arguably the best region for hillwalking, as it comprises a significant chunk of the Peak District. This area is characterised by lofty moors, deep dales and tremendous views of both. Further south are the six sprawling towns that make up Stoke-on-Trent, which historically have had such an impact on Staffordshire’s fortunes, not to mention its culture and countryside. This is pottery country, formerly at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution and the driving force behind a network of canals that still criss-cross the county.

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