Minety SN16 9PP
What3Words: ///bottled.maker.responses
OS map 169 Grid ref: SU008900

When to visit

Free and open to visit 24 hours a day.

Know before you go

  • Not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs
  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • 5.01 hectares

Download the reserve leaflet

About the nature reserve

The local landscape of big hedges and small wildflower meadows is one of the most threatened in Britain. These three hay meadows with countless wildflowers form a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of their long history of traditional farming.

What can be seen here?

In summer, devil’s-bit scabious turns Long Meadow into a haze of purple peppered with betony, saw-wort, sneezewort and heath spotted orchids. Listen for the shivering rustle of yellow rattle seedpods when you brush past them.

Long Meadow has clearly visible ridges and furrows running its length – evidence of an ancient farming system. Look in the damper furrows for ragged robin and creeping Jenny. Pignut Meadow contains an old banked enclosure that was perhaps a cattle pen when the area was open common land. White pignut flowers in May and June. Its flowers feed the larvae of the uncommon chimney-sweeper moth.

In Middle Meadow you can see some old ant hills. ‘Emmett’ is the old name for ant but most ant hills were wiped out by past ploughing. A stream runs alongside Middle Meadow, and there are two ponds where great crested and smooth newts find refuge. Butterflies and moths include the small heath, marsh fritillary, peacock, garden tiger moth and small copper.

We cut Long Meadow for hay in July and then cattle graze it until October. We pollard the hedgerow and ash trees. Pignut Meadow doesn’t grow enough grass to make hay and is just cattle grazed from mid summer onwards.

How can I get here?

Download directions