Fritillary Watch - Tuesday 17th March 2015
Snakes Head Fritillary Shoot Photo © John Barratt
When will the Fritillaries be in Flower?
The first fritillary shoots are starting emerge in North Meadow, the shoots are very hard to see at the moment almost resembling blades of grass but if you look closely you may be able to spot the olive green slightly curved shoots of the Snake’s head Fritillary. We are not expecting to see the first flowers for at least three weeks yet. (See guided walks)
Where will I be allowed to walk on North Meadow?
To continue to conserve these nationally scarce wild flowers we ask that you please to stay on the marked paths.
Currently ground conditions are good, but the paths are still a little uneven; stout shoes are advised for your visit.
Please help Natural England, Local Farmers and Cricklade Manorial Court who all work in partnership to conserve this important ancient hay meadow and it’s wildlife by keeping to the marked paths.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, but please note that dogs must be kept on a lead March to July. If you visit the meadow with your dog please keep it on a lead during March to July (see advice for dog walkers). Skylarks and Reed Buntings both declining protected species will now be looking for nesting sites on the ground in the grass and will be disturbed from their nests by dogs which are not on a lead.
Why is North Meadow protected?
North meadow has a great variety of wildflowers and is of international importance as one of the finest examples of lowland hay meadow in Europe. It is protected as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as well as being a National Nature Reserve. (Scientific research)
Snakes Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
Fritillaria meleagris the snake’s head fritillary grows from a small bulb which lies 5 to 8 cm below the surface of the soil; it rarely naturalises but reproduces by seed which is shed in June. The plants can live for up to 25 years and will reach flowering maturity around 4 to 5 years after germination.
For further information please contact Reserve Manager Anita Barratt
Tel 07795316191 email email@example.com