A diverse woodland wildlife treasure astride the River Pang
Associated with Kenneth Grahame's 'Wind in the Willows', Moor Copse is a haven of peace and beauty, renowned for its flowers, butterflies and moths.
An Aladdin's Cave
The four areas of woods are floodplain woodlands that provide homes to many species that love moist ground, such as alder trees and clusters of yellow iris. Plentiful supplies of rotting wood lying in the damp attract a range of fungi, beetles, bees and other insects.
Moor Copse is a wonderful reserve to visit all year round. In spring, woodland flowers and meadow flowers provide a colourful carpet whilst birds sing their hearts out. In summer, butterflies are abundant, including the handsome silver-washed fritillary whose larvae feed on violets. Dragonflies and damselflies, such as the beautiful demoiselle hunt up and down the river.
In autumn, the woodlands provide vibrant colour as the leaves gradually turn, and a diverse range of fungi, including deadman's fingers and green elfcup, push up from the leaf litter, or appear on dead wood.
Walks by the Pang and through the meadows are truly memorable when the landscape is encrusted with a sparkling winter frost.
BBOWT is working to transform some of the grassland into flower-rich meadows. Other areas of grass are being left to form tussocky patches, which will attract small mammals such as mice and voles, which in turn will provide vital food for predators such as the barn owl.
Moor Copse is one of three of BBOWT’s most charismatic wildflower meadows which have been named Coronation Meadows. HRH Prince Charles, as patron of RSWT, Rare Breeds Survival Trust and Plantlife, initiated the Coronation Meadows project. It celebrates the historic and extraordinary diversity of meadows, and encourages the creation of many more in the next 60 years through seeds and green hay from the Coronation sites.
Coronation Meadows represent a certain ethos; an attitude towards farming, rearing livestock and an appreciation of the value of farmland wildlife that has allowed these fragments of flower rich grassland to survive over the decades.
Chimney Meadows, Moor Copse and Upper Ray Meadows are prime examples of a Coronation Meadow because they are rich in a wealth of wild flowers. On each reserve there are meadows which have been regenerated using green hay from nearby land, a natural spread of species from field to field.
The meadows are managed carefully using traditional farming methods, sometimes with rare breed livestock for conservation grazing. Ancient hedgerows and tracks connect each meadow to the next these are just as important for wildlife as the meadows themselves. They help to create patchworks of habitats greater than their individual parts.
Things to do & places to go
- Volunteer with our regular work parties on the reserve.
- Try our circular Wildlife Walk (1 mile). Just follow the badger waymarkers.
- Look out for our seasonal guided walks.
- Help us manage this reserve by supporting us
- Tweet your wildlife sightings to @bbowt
- Sign up to our e-newsletter
Your Moor Copse photographs
Share your Moor Copse photographs with us! Add them to the BBOWT flickr group, and tag them 'moorcopse'.
Species and habitats
- Meadow, Woodland
- Bluebell, Cuckooflower, Early Purple Orchid, Honeysuckle, Primrose, Purple-loosestrife, Spindle, Wild Cherry, Wood Anemone, Wood Spurge, Yellow Iris, Banded Demoiselle, Brimstone, Brown Hawker, Meadow Brown, Orange-tip, Ringlet, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Common Carder Bee, Honey Bee, Red-tailed Bumblebee, White-tailed Bumblebee, Grass Snake, Kingfisher, Siskin, Sparrowhawk, Tawny Owl, Water Rail, Badger, Red Fox