Download our reserve leaflet here

Melksham SN12 6UL
OS map 156 Grid ref: ST900637

  • Suitable for pushchairs and wheelchiars
  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • 1.21 hectares


Conigre Mead reserve map © WWT

Conigre Mead was a field of rough grass until bought by local people who set about digging ponds, clearing scrub and planting trees and wildflowers. It was given to us as a nature reserve in 1989 and is now a lovely mix of ponds, wildflower-rich grassland and shrubs. Easily accessible with good, level paths, you can walk around the meadow, and sit overlooking the Bristol Avon.

On sunny days watch the courtship displays of emperor dragonfly, red-eyed and common blue damselfly and the rare white legged damselfly. In spring and summer the meadow is a pink-and-white patchwork of ragged robin and ox-eye daisy, red campion and meadowsweet. Keep an eye out for butterflies such as the orange tip and brimstone - one of the earliest to come out in spring.

Over the pond, fringed with golden marsh marigolds and yellow iris, you might see the blue flash of a kingfisher. Migrating wading birds, such as the common sandpiper, stop off here and regular visitors include moorhens, mallards and mute swans.  You may spot a grass snake sunning itself, or water vole by the river. A hidden world of runs and tunnels in the grass are used by small rodents such as voles to get about unseen. The rare water shrew is found here too. Pipistrelle and Daubenton’s bats can be seen on summer nights – mainly along the river, which is also a feeding ground for otters.

Volunteers regularly come to clear scrub and maintain ponds for wildlife.

Water shrew © David Kjaer Brimstone © Gill Cardy White-legged damsel fly © Gill Cardy Meadow Cranesbill © Gill Cardy

Directions

If driving - From Melksham town centre take Riverside Walk, which runs between river and Sainsbury’s supermarket car park. Path leads directly into nature reserve through gates. From car park follow riverside path downstream to reserve gate.

If using bus - Lots of regular buses to Melksham town centre. Visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/parkingtransportandstreets

If cycling – Visit www.sustrans.org.uk

Nearby reservesGreen Lane Wood

What to see locally - Devizes Museum (7 miles), a'Beckett's Vineyard (9 miles), Bath Abbey and Roman Baths (9 miles), Cherhill White Horse and Avebury (11 miles)

Conigre Mead location map © WWT
(Photo: Conigre Mead © Gill Cardy)