Cotswold Grassland Week returns
Cotswold Grassland Week (11 – 19 June) returns this weekend and the week is packed full of events, talks and discovery days from Leckhampton Hill to Chipping Norton. The week of events have been organised to highlight and enhance the wildflower grasslands of the Cotswolds.
Events will take place across the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and have been organised by the Save Our Magnificent Meadows team at the Cotswolds Conservation Board, providing the chance to hunt out rare plants and butterflies.
Events and guided walks include:
Guided Walk: Up, Down & Around two Nature Reserves
Saturday 11 June, 10am
Starting Point: Slip road for Swainswick, East of A46, 3.3 Miles from Cold Ashton roundabout at the A46/A420 junction
The Meadows and hedgerows will be in early flower and there are splendid views and history to interest all. Along the way you will see more of the work of the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens. It may be hot so bring plenty of drinks.
A Talk on the Folklore & Medicinal Properties of Plants
Saturday 11 June, 2pm - 3:30pm
Cotswolds Discovery Centre, Northleach
An hour’s talk, with time for questions, looking at a variety of plants and discussing their medicinal virtues and folklore.
Guided Walk: Glyme Valley
Wednesday 15 June, 10am - 1pm
Meet outside Chipping Norton Town Hall
Explore the wonderful species-rich limestone grasslands of Glyme Farm.
A Talk on Managing Grasslands for Wildlife
Thursday 16 June, 2pm - 4pm
Cotswolds Discovery Centre, Northleach
An illustrated free talk exploring our amazing wildflower grasslands and their ecology and management.
Guided Walk: Living on the Edge
Friday 17 June, 10am
Starting Point: Stanton Village Car Park
Limestone grassland and woods on the Cotswold scarp are tough places for plants but the perfect home for some specialised and spectacular plant species. As part of the Save Our Magnificent Meadows project we will be looking at the very important habitat.
Guided Walk: Coppicing and Wild Flowers
Saturday 18 June, 10am
Starting Point: Biddestone village pond
Colerne Park woodland is managed by the Woodland Trust and Coppice work has been undertaken each year by the Wardens. As well as coppicing the Hazel, deer fencing has to be erected to protect new growth from the deer and this has to be removed after a couple of years to prevent brambles taking over. Orchids and Bath asparagus, as well as many more wild flowers thrive in the meadows within the Park. Suitable for families.
Family Fun Event: Fun & Flowers on the Hill!
Saturday 18 June, 11am - 2pm
Leckhampton Hill (parking at Salterley Quarry car park), nearest postcode GL53 9QW
Free event! Storytelling, face painting, guided walks and bug hunts amongst the flowers. Bring your own rug and picnic! A great day out for all the family!
Guided Walk: The Magnificent Meadows of Leckhampton Hill
Saturday 18 June, 11:30am
Starting Point: Brown Stones Quarry - on top of Hartley Hill
A walk along the Cotswold scarp with views over Cheltenham, down to the lime kilns and return via cowslip meadow. Bring a packed lunch or a picnic! This walk complements the Save Our Magnificent Meadows event on the hill at the same time and explores some of the nature.
Grassland Week has been organised as part of the national conservation project - Save our Magnificent Meadows. Save our Magnificent Meadows (SoMM) is a partnership project led by Plantlife, which comprises 11 organisations including the Cotswolds Conservation Board and is primarily funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project is working with landowners and communities to protect, conserve and restore their local meadows.
The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty contains a nationally significant proportion (over 50%) of the UK’s total Jurassic unimproved limestone grassland. This type of grassland is home to a large number of rare and declining plants including many species of orchid and other flowers including Pasque Flower and Cotswold Pennycress.
Eleanor Reast the Magnificent Meadows Conservation Officer said: “Grassland Week is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to see and learn about many of the rare and declining plants and wildflowers. For children especially it will ignite a lifelong interest in wildlife too!”
Full details about all of the events taking place during the week can be found online at www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk