Know before you go
Parking informationPark in Toddington village, then walk south along road, or park carefully on road verge opposite reserve entrance.
Boardwalk on public footpath can be muddy
Disabled access and push-chair friendly
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch to May, June to August
About the reserve
Not long ago, Toddington had many such wet meadows but today most of them have been drained, ploughed and converted to arable production. Dropshort Marsh is a living example of what has elsewhere disappeared.
Spring colour is provided by the yellows and pinks of marsh-marigold and ragged-robin, showing through the lush greens of rushes, sedges and grass. In summer, the flowers of marsh thistle attract meadow brown and marbled white butterflies, and goldfinches feed on the seeds later in the year.
Large pollarded willows line the course of a spring that flows through the reserve. A second spring feeds the marsh, towards the south-western end of this L-shaped meadow. Mature hedgerows of hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn provide autumn nuts and berries for foraging birds and small mammals.
We maintain a balance of scrub and grassland, removing scrub and grazing the site with cattle during spring and summer, before it becomes too wet.