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Blakehill Farm

Ox Eye Daisy Blakehill

Walk in this vast grassland - a former airfield

At Blakehill Farm we are undertaking one of the UK's largest grassland restoration projects. Another chapter in its history as a former military airbase. As you walk this vast area, listen for singing skylarks above the ‘shooshing’ of waving meadow grasses.

This 240ha site – our biggest reserve - is being carefully restored to wildlife-rich hay meadow and pasture, habitats which were once common in Wiltshire and the UK, but which have steeply declined.

With this one project we are meeting more than 45% of the government's 10-year target for restoring lowland neutral grassland (hay meadow) in England.

The uninterrupted expanse of grassland on the central plateau is home to farmland wildlife such as brown hare and kestrel.

Other wild animals live in the margins, hedgerows, ponds and seasonally wet ground, including bullfinch, lapwing, grass snake and 14 species of dragonfly.

Blakehill Farm is a slice of living history. As an airfield it reverberated to the drone of Dakotas taking troops and equipment to the battlefields of Europe in World War II.

Now it offers us a rare insight into what was once an everyday farmed landscape.

Take a look at Simon Tucker's blog - he does a lot of bird ringing for the Wiltshire Ornithological Society and writes about what he finds at Blakehill Farm and some of our other reserves in north Wiltshire.

Find out more about Blakehill's wildlife or find out how we manage the reserve

brownhareDarinSmith (Reserves Right OS Map (217x136)) ShorthornCattleatblakehillDavidHall260304CD150003 (Reserves Right OS Map (217x136))

Visit Rob Griffiths' website for records of the latest wildlife sightings at Blakehill

A summer walk at Blakehill Farm

Download a location map

Download a reserve map

How to get here

OS Map grid reference - for site entrance - SU073923, for centre of site - SU077912

Nearest town - Cricklade

Access - dogs are not allowed on the reserve. The reserve is open to pedestrians 24 hours a day. Vehicle access is currently intermittent. Suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs

Size – total complex 263.69 hectares. Blakehill farm 243.1 hectares / 600 acres

Habitats - wildflower meadows, neutral grassland

Don't miss - skylarks, barn owl, grass snake and roe deer - if you're quiet enough!

Other reserves nearby - Stoke Common Meadows, Upper Waterhay, Brockhurst Meadow


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