North Meadow Cricklade North Meadow

Fritillary Watch - Monday 28th May 2018

North Meadow

Spring is here. What a wet winter!

With water levels remaining high and ground conditions saturated, it was a tough season and we would like to thank everyone who postponed visits to North Meadow whilst it was so vulnerable. The annual fritillary survey showed the number of plants decreased in wetter areas but held on in drier places. Let's hope next year's weather is more favourable and the meadow is ready to receive visitors.

The meadow is now starting to come into full colour ahead of the hay cut. It is golden at the moment with buttercups. There are still fritillaries flowering in places so bring binoculars if you come to visit... who knows what you might spot growing in the sward!

Dogs on the meadow

We welcome dogs at North Meadow National Nature Reserve, but as the name says it is a nature reserve; a haven for nature and wildlife, and a place where we can go to appreciate it. It is one of the best remaining examples of an ancient hay meadow in Europe and home to rare species of plants, birds, and mammals.

Over the last few years we have experienced an increase in disturbance to ground nesting birds, damage to the hay crop and dog fouling. Dog faeces is nutrient rich which alters soil composition effecting the species of plants which grow on the meadow. Once collected and dried during the hay cut it can enter livestock food chain, causing serious health issues and even abortions. It is an owners responsibility know the countryside code and their responsibilities regarding their dog. We are asking as the land owners and managers that the following points are followed:

  • Dogs should be kept on lead March 1st – July 31st , whilst there is machinery operating on the meadow and when livestock are present
  • Leads should be no longer than 2m long
  • All dog fouling should be collected and removed – there is a bin at the main entrance

Please bring your dog when you visit North Meadow, but be aware that it isn't the place to exercise, train or run a dog. We are sad that there has been vandalism to some of the new signage we have erected around this issue. Please know that Natural England, our partners and volunteers work hard and passionately to keep North Meadow in good condition, and to protect it so that it will remain long after we are no longer here. We understand people feel passionately about this issue so please get in touch if you would like to discuss it.

If you have any enquiries or feedback regarding your visit please contact Aidan Fallon, Reserve Manager on 07919995036 or


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