Thank you to all of our wonderful donors and supporters - Morningside Farm meadows has been saved!

With its abundance of wildflowers, Morningside Farm, near Royal Wootton Bassett is a national treasure.  In summer the fields are ablaze with colour and the air is filled with wildflower perfume. There is a wealth of butterflies, crickets and pollinating insects, while birds nest in the mature hedgerows. 

In April 2019 we were delighted to announce that the meadows have been secured as a wildlife site, thanks to generosity of our supporters, and to a substantial grant from Biffa Award, which allowed us to raise the remaining funds to purchase the land and add it to our network of nature reserves across Wiltshire and Swindon.

Why is this land so important?

With just 1,100 hectares of floodplain meadows like these remaining across the whole of Britain, the 25 hectares at Morningside Farm represent a nationally important resource, of critical importance for the wealth of plants, butterflies, birds, and pollinating insects that are associated with this rare and threatened hay meadow habitat.

Extensive areas of Great Burnet and drifts of Betony, Ladies Bedstraw, Birds foot Trefoil, Meadow Sweet, Meadow Cranesbill, and Knapweed are found at Morningside Meadows.

The purchase of these fields will ensure that they are protected and that they will be managed for nature so that they can be enjoyed by future generations.

Enhanced public access and activities

Morningside Farm can be easily reached along footpaths from Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon. There are two public footpaths crossing the site and there is a towpath along the Wilts & Berks Canal that runs through the site. There is a small parking area near to the canal bridge on Chaddington Lane. Some of the paths around the site will be improved and we will provide information about the conservation importance of the farm and wildlife to look out for.

We will encourage local volunteers to become involved in managing the site and will offer training opportunities and activities, including the biological recording of species.

The farm is ideally placed for school visits and we will create resources and provide opportunities to study meadow management, grassland habitats, species and the role of pollinators, as well as the various Forest School activities.

How big is Morningside Farm?

See the full scale of the land on Google Maps

There are 60 acres (25 ha). This comprises five fields and some dilapidated agricultural buildings.  One of the fields is currently used for horse grazing, but two of the fields are of very high wildlife interest. Green hay from these fields will be used to make the wildlife interest on the other two fields even better; a technique we have used successfully on other meadows.