N Meadow Rd, Swindon, United Kingdom
North Meadow Swindon Reviews
North Meadow Apr 26, 2009
North Meadow is in Cricklade, near Swindon in the South West of England. It is close to the A419, and near the highest point on the Thames where you could theoretically take a boat. It is an ancient meadow which, for reasons lost in history, never got enclosed for arable land. It has never been treated with fertiliser, weed killer or insecticide. And it is very beautiful.
Why am I writing about a field? I realise fields are probably not everyone's cup of tea, but this is a special one. The field is home to 95% of the world’s population of the snake’s head fritillary, a purple flower the shape of a snow drop but bigger, patterned like snake skin in purple. You simply don’t expect a critically endangered flower to be in a field just outside Swindon. It blooms in late April, and after that, the meadow is home to dozens of other wildflowers that have almost died out elsewhere.
The meadow is open “any reasonable hour,” which I think is normally defined as more or less daylight. It is common land, but you should stick to the paths to avoid destroying the very delicate ecosystem. Whilst you are in Cricklade, there are some very nice pubs that have real ale, and a decent Indian restaurant called the Ancient Raj which is worth checking out.
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80% of the world population of Snake's head fritilliary|
…grows in one meadow in Cricklade. I was fascinated with this fact. When you think of incredibly rare flowers, you do not think of fields just outside Swindon. Rainforests. …Swindon , with the A419 swishing a few hundred yards away. North Meadow is still held in common, which means that…