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Chettisham Meadow

A 'ridge-and-furrow' meadow with a spectacular show of orchids in spring

This reserve has been managed as a traditional hay meadow for over a century and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Ridge-and-furrow earthworks (remnants of ploughing from the Middle Ages) are still visible here. Many different fine grasses are found: sweet vernal-grass, red fescue, quaking-grass and yellow oat-grass.

During spring the meadows are full of cowslips and green-winged orchids. Ox-eye daisy, adder’s-tongue fern and pepper-saxifrage are also found here.

Resident butterflies include orangetip, holly blue, marbled white, brown argus and small copper. Birds include bullfinch, long-tailed tit, willow warbler, cuckoo and blackcap. Lucky visitors may also catch a glimpse of barn owl hunting at dusk. The dense hedges around the meadows provide refuge for small mammals and insects.


The meadow is cut for hay and grazed by sheep. Seed from Chettisham is sown on other sites as part of the Coronation Meadows scheme. 


The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.

Nearby nature reserves

Roswell Pits
2 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Ouse Washes
5 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Doghouse Grove
7 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.

Reserve information

Chettisham 2 miles from
Map reference
TL 540 830
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Opening Times
Open at all times
0.70 hectares
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Walking information
Please keep to the edge of the meadow while the hay is growing.
In Chettisham village near the church. Follow byway across busy A10. After another 400 yards take left track at junction; reserve is 200 yards on left.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01954 713500