Following a successful public appeal in 2013 and with help from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust members, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Severn Waste Environmental Fund, WWT bought the 16 hectares Hollybed Farm Meadows with the vision of restoring these fields to their former glory.
One field, Far Starling Meadow, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of its traditional hay meadow plants that include crested dog’s-tail, common knapweed, meadow vetchling, sweet vernal grass, yellow rattle, goldilocks buttercup, burnet saxifrage and wild onion. The orchard and Roundhill Bank are also quite rich with knapweed, yellow rattle, ladies bedstraw, primrose, meadow vetchling and pepper saxifrage.
The circular trail is 1.7km (about an hour) and takes in most of the habitats found here. Most paths run through grassland but the permissive path has some steep sections that can be slippery in winter. There are several gates.
Cattle and sheep both graze the site during parts of the year and we’re hoping that skylarks and other ground-nesting birds return to breed here. Dogs are welcome but please keep them on leads and leave gates as you find them.
I took a walk in September but visit from late May until early July to see wildflowers dancing in the breeze in these beautiful meadows.