Ancient grassland, bursting with flowers and insects
The old meadows here have never been intensively farmed, so they have kept the high diversity of plants and insects which traditional farming techniques produced. Six species of orchid have been recorded in the varied grassland lying over complex geology and archaeology, while the woods shelter the reserve and harbour birds and fungi.
The sweeping boughs of two magnificent oaks greet the visitor entering Ox Meadow, where cowslips carpet the ground in spring. This is the driest meadow and the chalky soil supports calcareous grassland. In East Fen, the wettest meadow, hundreds of marsh orchids bloom in early summer. The dry meadows are grazed with sheep and cattle. Please keep all dogs in the meadows on a lead.
This nature reserve is part of the Cambridgeshire Chalk Living Landscape.
Species and habitats
- Grassland, Woodland
- Stoat, Weasel, Chiffchaff, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Lesser Whitethroat, Snipe, Swallow, Turtle Dove, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Common Lizard, Grass Snake, Common Frog, Common Toad, Black-tailed skimmer, Common darter, Emperor dragonfly, Blue-tailed damselfly, Brimstone, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Orange-tip, Ringlet, Bee Orchid, Milkwort, Common Spotted orchid, Cowslip, Guelder-rose, Hazel, Lady's Bedstraw, Twayblade
Nearby nature reserves
Nature reserve map
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.