Great Oakley Meadow
Know before you go
Slight slope, meadow is tussocky with wet areas
Suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMay to July
About the reserve
This meadow is the best remaining fragment of the ancient field system of Great Oakley. The prominent ridge and furrow at the southern end has a different mix of species to the wetter, northern part. The drier tops of the ridges display a colourful mosaic of species, including cowslips, common knapweed and quaking-grass. The alternating damp furrows are much poorer in species with meadow fescue and tufted hair-grass dominating, while the area closest to the brook supports more plants characteristic of damp ground, such as cuckooflower, hairy sedge and great burnet.
The hedgerows are popular feeding grounds for birds. Buntings and finches, including yellowhammer, goldfinch and linnet are attracted by the plentiful supply of seeds and invertebrates. Flocks of redwings and fieldfares are regular winter visitors, foraging on both the grassland and hedges. On summer evenings, flocks of swallows, swifts and house martins feed on insects over the meadow. Great Oakley reserve leaflet The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.