North Meadow, Cricklade National Nature Reserve



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North Meadow NNR on the northern edge of Cricklade in the glacial flood plain of the River Thames and the River Churn is one of the finest examples of a lowland hay meadow in Europe, with over 250 plant species. It is most famous for Britain’s largest population of snake’s head fritillary. In April it is covered by around 500,000 flowers, along with yellow clusters of marsh marigold and pink cuckoo flowers. Greater burnet, common knapweed, cowslip, meadow buttercup and yellow rattle, ox-eye daisies, meadow rue and meadow sweet can also be seen in the summer months. During the summer you’ll see many insects feeding here, including brightly coloured burnet moths, dramatic blue damsel flies and a host of beetles and butterflies. Throughout the year the meadow and its hedges are filled with the song of skylarks, great tits, blue tits, chaffinches,linnets and tree creepers. Along the river banks, reed buntings,grey wagtails, sedge warblers and kingfishers can be found. In the summer, swallows, sand martins and swifts are often seen hunting overhead.

North Meadow, Cricklade National Nature Reserve


About the area

Discover Wiltshire

A land shrouded in mystery, myth and legend, Wiltshire evokes images of ancient stone circles, white chalk horses carved into hillsides, crop circles and the forbidden, empty landscape of Salisbury Plain. To many M4 and A303 drivers heading out of London through the clutter of the Thames Valley, Wiltshire is where the landscape opens out and rural England begins.

Wiltshire’s charm lies in the beauty of its countryside. The expansive chalk landscapes of the Marlborough and Pewsey downs and Cranborne Chase inspire a sense of space and freedom, offering miles of uninterrupted views deep into Dorset, Somerset and the Cotswolds. Wiltshire’s thriving market towns and picturesque villages provide worthwhile visits and welcome diversions. Stroll through quaint timbered and thatched villages in the southern Woodford and Avon valleys and explore the historic streets of the stone villages of Lacock, Castle Combe and Sherston. Walk around Salisbury and discover architectural styles from the 13th century to the present and take time to visit the city’s elegant cathedral and fascinating museums. And if all of that isn’t enough, the county is also richly endowed with manor houses, mansions and beautiful gardens.

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