A mosaic of wetland habitats attracting an abundance of wildlife


On the eastern edge of

OS Map Reference

SP 770 597
A static map of Barnes Meadow

Know before you go

20 hectares

Entry fee


Grazing animals


Walking trails

Flat overall, either tarmac or firm grass paths


Unsuitable for wheelchairs


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

May to September, October to January

About the reserve

These three meadows on either side of the River Nene encompass a wide range of grassland and wetland habitats. These include a redundant arm of the Nene, the river itself, Hardingstone Dyke and a variety of recently created ditches and shallow scrapes. 

The scrapes make particularly good feeding grounds for many visiting bird species including waders such as snipe. Peregrine falcons hunt overhead, and the reserve is home to heron and kingfisher. Great crested grebe and tern can be seen feeding on the river. The sheltered water and margins are also home to many dragonflies and damselflies, including the distinctive brown hawker. 

The meadows are grazed with cattle and we dredge the ditches on rotation to maintain a good habitat for dragonfly larvae and other aquatic invertebrates.

Additional information

  • Scroll down to see the reserve boundary. Please note the boundary map is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary. 

FOR ANY MEDIA ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT OUR COMMUNICATIONS TEAM:   communicationsteam@wildlifebcn.org or 01954 713500 and ask for comms team.

Contact us

Contact number: 01604 405285

Environmental designation

Local Nature Reserve (LNR)

Location map

Support our work

Did you enjoy your visit? From donating to volunteering, there are many different ways you can help us restore and protect local wildlife. We can't do this without you!

How you can help

Betony at Upwood Meadows June  - c. Robert Enderby

Become a member

Help fight the rapid decline in wildlife across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire and enjoy some fabulous benefits. From only £3.50/month

Join us today