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Audrey's Meadow

A tranquil lowland meadow, good for summer butterflies and other insects, tucked between ancient woodland.

Nestled in the woods

Situated on a hillside below Greenham Church, Audrey’s Meadow sits between ancient woodland and Newbury's expanding urban edge. It is a mix of lowland meadow and woodland with ponds. Within the woodland there is a good variety of trees of different ages and heights. Spring is a good time to visit when you can enjoy ancient woodland plants such as bluebells and yellow archangel and the sound of birdsong

A declining habitat

This little meadow is an example of 'neutral' grassland that has been managed as part of an agricultural system and has lost the diversity of wildflower species that would once  have been found here. As a consequence it is now dominated by a variety of coarse grasses. Agricultural improvements have reduced the number of flower-filled neutral meadows that survive, and they are now a priority habitat for conservation.

An opportunity

In 2014 BBOWT started managing the site on behalf of West Berkshire Council, seizing the opportunity to help this small piece of declining meadow habitat to thrive once more. To encourage pollinating insects and meadow plants, the Trust will put a traditional hay meadow management regime in place with aftermath grazing to try to increase the number of wild flowers. Due to the size and public use of Audrey's Meadow it is unlikely that the grass site will be used for hay for livestock feed, which means cutting can take place anytime from early August onwards. This will allow the majority of plants to flower and set seed, and for insects to complete their lifecycles.

Typical flower species that we hope to encourage to flourish include bird's-foot trefoil, common knapweed, meadow vetchling, tufted vetch, common vetch, lady's bedstraw, oxeye daisy, common sorrel and cowslip.

In recognition

The meadow is named in recognition of many years of work carried out on the behalf of the community of Greenham by Mrs Audrey Appleby, who set up the Friends of Audrey’s Meadow Group and actively encourages schools and local community groups to visit and enjoy the valuable open space of the meadow.
 

Audrey’s Meadow does not have any statutory or non statutory conservation designations but it has been adopted formally as public open space, which prevents change of use in the future. Its management is governed under the Greenham & Crookham Commons Act of 2002. It is also part of the wider West Berkshire Living Landscape.

Things to do

There is a lot to be done at Audrey’s Meadow including pond improvements, fencing, our annual community hay cut and stock-watching to name a few. If you would like to get involved with our work here or would like more information about it, please contact: Ed Sweetman wbll@bbowt.org.uk or 01635 500 886

 

Nearby nature reserves

Greenham and Crookham Commons
1 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Bowdown Woods
1 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
The Nature Discovery Centre
1 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

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Reserve information

Location
Rosyth Gardens
Newbury
Berkshire
RG14 7WD
Map reference
SU 486 659
Great for...
butterflies
wildflowers
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
2.00 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
West Berkshire Living Landscape
Access
No

The main access point is through a kissing gate and there are further kissing gates to access the woodland. There is currently no provision for wheelchair access.
Walking information
Unsurfaced natural paths with steps. The reserve is on the side of a hill. Pedestrian kissing gates at all entrances.
Parking
Park on the roadside in Rosyth Gardens or Mandarin Drive with consideration for residents
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01635 35157
info@bbowt.org.uk

Smartphone Safari

Every weekend on BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford we broadcast a Smartphone Safari. Listen along as we explore some of our fantastic reserves and introduce you to the wildlife you can see.