Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s largest nature reserve, covering 250 ha of the Upper Thames floodplain. The reserve is of national importance for its species-rich wetland meadows that support large numbers of now scarce ground-nesting birds, and provides a haven for curlew, snipe and reed bunting.
The smaller south-western section of Chimney Meadows is a National Nature Reserve (NNR), owned by English Nature and managed by BBOWT since 1999. Only 1,500 ha of this type of floodplain meadow survives in the UK. Vistas of elegant plants including meadow foxtail, adder’s-tongue fern and green-winged orchid, along with butterflies and birds can be enjoyed from the raised Thames National Trail path that runs alongside. The larger section of Chimney Meadows (200 ha, with some public access), is owned by BBOWT. The area comprises old hay meadows, wet grassland, wet woodland, ancient water meadows and ex-arable land under reversion to flower-rich meadows. The fields are steeped in history, with findings of Roman pottery, an extensive Anglo-Saxon burial ground and relics of medieval ‘ridge and furrow’ ploughing. Threaded through with 14 km of old waterways and 17 km of hedgerows, the reserve also has a number of ponds and patches of scrub.
|2021 (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)|