A remarkable suite of medieval meadows – untouched by modern farming and full of wildlife.
Meadow Farm is a relic of ancient ridge and furrow farming techniques, abundant in the wild flowers we once took for granted.
Thanks to the amazing response of our supporters, BBOWT raised enough funds to buy this fantastic Local Wildlife Site in 2014.
Situated within the Upper River Ray Living Landscape, Meadow Farm is a 28-hectare site by the River Ray on the Oxon-Bucks border, surrounded by wide blackthorn hedges and home to whitethroats and yellowhammers.
A substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has allowed us to start an exciting 3-year conservation and community engagement project.
- Read more about the wildlife at Meadow Farm on our blog.
- See photos and videos of Meadow Farm on our Pinterest Board.
Why is Meadow Farm so important?
Meadows are among the most diverse habitats in the British Isles and are important for many species of insect, bird and mammal. Sadly, the swathes of stunning wild flowers, an iconic part of our local landscape, are becoming far less familiar. A shocking 97% of our colourful and varied lowland wildflower meadows in the UK have been destroyed in the last 75 years.
Meadow Farm has never been deep ploughed and as a result rare wildflowers are thriving, including local rarity true fox sedge and tubular water-dropwort. These, along with other species indicative of this rare type of floodplain meadow, such as great burnet, meadow foxtail, crested dogs-tail and knapweed, put on a spectacular show of colour in the summer months.
We are already working with landowners in the area, restoring and creating similar meadows with seed harvested from our wildflower meadows. These landscape-scale efforts create more of this wonderful habitat, enabling declining birds such as the curlew to spread into these new meadows.
Landscape Historian Deborah Hayter explains the history of ridge and furrow:
Meadow Farm is open to the public for events and booked groups.
Come to an event We have an exciting and varied event programme this year, so plenty of opportunity to come and see Meadow Farm for yourself. These include guided walks, family events and a special Open Meadows weekend for you to explore the meadows at your own pace. Find out more on our What's On pages.
School Visits Bring your class to this historic landscape where children can discover the beautiful wild flowers, butterflies and birds through a range of interactive programmes. Contact our Education Officer, Rachel Strachan for programme details firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nature Tots Join us with your pre-school little ones for nature discovery, games, craft, fun and exploration. Held April - September. See our What's On pages for more details.
- Community groups Part of a group? Why not arrange a guided visit to Meadow Farm? Available between April and end of June this year. We can also come to you, offering talks for your indoor meetings about our work at Meadow Farm and the wider Upper Ray Living Landscape. Contact us to find out more.
What can I do to help?
We are only able to manage our land with your ongoing support. Please join today for just £5 a month and help us save precious other wildflower meadows like Meadow Farm