The Fritillaries are Just Past Peak Flowering

Update from Natural England

The fritillaries are now just passing their peak, but there are still plenty to see on all marked routes – the further you walk up the meadow the more you will see without leaving the path.

Please continue to stick to paths marked with posts – whilst you may think you are being careful there are far more non-flowering individuals which look like grass that are easily trampled. Dogs also trample, and disturb ground nesting birds so please keep them on a short lead.

TOP TIP – bring binoculars, this will enable you to see the true extent of the flowers further out in the meadow.

We have placed a whiteboard at the entrance to the meadow giving up to date information on the best areas to see flowers.

Enjoy your visit!!

Charlotte Taggart
Natural England Reserve Manager
Email: charlotte.targett@naturalengland.org.uk

Natural England are asking photographers to take care not to damage the National Nature Reserve and have placed the following guidance at the main entrance.

Photographers Guide

Research on North Meadow

Research on North Meadow

Over the next 2 weeks you may see Natural England and the Floodplain Meadows Partnership carrying out research on North Meadow, recording the  Snakes Head Fritillary Fritillaria meleagris. North Meadow is home to 80% of  the UK population of this nationally scarce plant.

This involves counting fritillary plants, both those in flower and vegetative plants which have between one and seven leaves. Although flowering fritillaries are easy to see, the vegetative plants can just look like blades of grass and greatly outnumber the flowering plants. Normally this work is carried out by around 40 volunteer recorders. Covid restrictions have reduced the number of recorders on site this year.

The fritillary plants are recorded in 320 1m by 1m quadrats which are positioned in the same location each year using a GPS accurate to 2cm. The position of the quadrats is shown on the map above.

This research is followed by a full botanical survey later in the year. The Floodplain Meadow Partnership have been carrying out research on North Meadow for over 20 years. You can find out more about their work from the latest Spring Newsletter .

Floodplain Meadows Newsletter

The Fritillaries Are Now Flowering

The fritillaries are now flowering although they are still not at their peak as they have been held back by the cool weather.

Cricklade Bloomers are not able to run the Fritillary Tea Rooms this year but they will be selling cakes, plants and books in the courtyard next to the Thames Hall during the weekends on 17/18 April and 24/25 April.  They will be there from 11.00am to 4.00pm. Continue reading “The Fritillaries Are Now Flowering”

H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh

Cricklade Court Leet

On behalf of the Officers and Jurors of The Manorial Court of the Hundred and Borough of Cricklade, I would like to express our deep condolences and great sadness to H.M. The Queen and the rest of the Royal family over the passing of The Duke of Edinburgh.

Clive Smith

High Bailiff of Cricklade

9th April 2021

Winter Flooding Recedes

North Meadow from main entrance

The winter flooding has started to recede but the site is still extremely muddy and slippery under foot. Natural England are asking people to stay off the site for now whilst the remainder of the water dries up.

The first Snake’s Head Fritillary shoots were spotted at the beginning of March. We are hoping they will have a good year this year and put on their stunning display in April. Continue reading “Winter Flooding Recedes”

North Meadow in Flood

North Meadow is in full flood this week. The National Nature Reserve is part of the floodplain for the River Thames and River Churn. Floodplains take the excess water when river levels are high and can extend over a wide area. It is quite normal for the floodplain to be inundated during the winter months and is one of the features which creates this species rich for lowland hay meadow habitat. Continue reading “North Meadow in Flood”