North Meadow National Nature Reserve (NNR) is an old, traditional hay meadow on the northern edge of Cricklade. The reserve covers an area of 44 hectares (108 acres), roughly the area of 60 football pitches.
Why is it important?
The NNR has a great variety of wildflowers and is of international importance as one of the finest examples of a lowland hay meadow in Europe. It is protected as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSI).
Around 80% of Britain’s snakeshead fritillaries (Fritillaria meliagris), grow at North meadow. This beautiful and nationally-scarce flower is named after the shape of the flower bud before it opens and the snakeskin pattern on it’s petals.
Once there were many meadows like this along the upper Thames but very few remain today; most have been destroyed by modern agriculture and gravel extraction.