Fritillary Watch

Fritillary season is almost upon us
As more fritillaries are starting to appear and the weather warming up we have high hopes for a good display this year at North Meadow. Flowers are developing nicely but only a handful are showing any sign of wanting to open so we would suggest giving it a few more weeks before visiting.

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Fact of the month: Only 1 third of fritillaries flower each year, the rest are juvenile or dormant. This is one of the main reasons we are keen to keep the paths as narrow as possible. By stepping off the path to take a picture of one fritillary, you could accidently kill another.

Visiting the meadow
As we move into growing, flowering, and nesting season we ask everyone visiting the meadow to be prepared for their visit. The meadow is a very special place, and the difference between enjoyment and damage is small and the impact of visitors takes its toll every year.
The best way to help preserve the meadow is keep to the paths. Please bring appropriate footwear so that you don’t have to walk around puddles, and keep to small, narrow groups. It can be tempting to leave the path to get a closer look at a flower or take a picture, so please bring binoculars and read the photographer’s guide. Fritillaries did grow up to the paths but, due to trampling of the flowering plants they are getting further away from the paths. Keeping to the paths will help save them and allow them to repopulate these areas.
Please keep dogs on short leads and under control. We have ground nesting birds that can be flushed and disturbed by dogs. We have experienced a dramatic increase in dog fouling on the meadow in the last few years. This increases the phosphate levels in the soil can cause serious illness in livestock.

We hope you’ll enjoy your visit to North Meadow. If you have any questions about your visit please contact Natural England Reserve Manager Aidan Fallon, or 07919995036

Group guided walks are available see here

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