Know before you go
Parking informationPark on road side (please avoid blocking private residents' access)
Unsurfaced natural paths with steps. The reserve is on the side of a hill. Pedestrian kissing gates at all entrances.
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. Unsurfaced natural paths with steps. The reserve is on the side of a hill.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch to August
About the reserve
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.
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 has 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.
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.