Bay Meadows

Bay Meadows

Bay Meadows is a strategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough. With 1.3km of the River Og, a typical Wiltshire chalk stream, and 12 hectares of adjacent water meadows, Bay Meadows is home to otters, kingfishers and wild brown trout. It is also one of the last refuges of water voles, which have decreased by over 94% nationally and are now extinct in nearby counties.

A land purchase loan from the Esmee Fairburn Foundation, temporarily secured the site whilst funding was raised to secure it long term. Following a successful public appeal, raising over £70,000, a grant of £60,000 from the Hills Group and a further grant of £250,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we are pleased to say the site is now owned by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

The amount of funding and community support has enabled us to start a programme of work to restore the floodplain meadow into a better habitat for species such as Water Vole and Wild Brown Trout, and for pollinators. Alongside the enhancements will be a comprehensive community engagement programme, and the creation of a nature area for the community and its visitors to enjoy.

The image below provides an interpretation of how the site may be enhanced to create a natural haven for people and wildlife.

Bay Meadows site plans

A key objective of the project is to involve the local community by:

  • Engaging with local people and groups
  • Installing paths and bridges for public access to nature
  • Linking with existing pathways to create new walking routes
  • Establishing a new volunteer group

Join our volunteering group

Community Activities Wildlife Conservation Work

Heritage Fund logo

Hills logo

How we are supporting threatened wildlife at Bay Meadows:

Photograph of a water vole 

Rare and endangered water voles are still found living along the River Og. Surveys show that across the UK water voles have disappeared from over 94% of sites where they were previously found and are probably extinct in nearby counties. We are enhancing the chalk stream and improving its flow and condition, encouraging bankside vegetation to further protect water voles.

Download our Water Vole and Otter survey of the site

Photograph of a snipe

The meadows are an important night time feeding and roosting area for snipe. We are creating ponds, scrapes and marshy areas full of reeds, enhancing the site for ducks and wading birds like snipe and potentially for water voles. Snipe numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years and they are now on the Amber List of species of concern.

Photograph of a dragonfly

Wildflower meadows will provide a range of flora for insects and invertebrates, supporting the foundations of the food web for local wildlife. We are increasing the variety of wild flowers in the meadows by scattering green hay collected from other Trust nature reserves. The seeds introduced should establish and improve the diversity of the site, a technique we’ve used successfully across the county, to encourage butterflies and other insects such as dragonflies and damselflies.

We have already recorded 106 species of plants in the area.

Download our latest list of species

Back to the Bay Meadows home page