Blooming marvellous meadows

The floodplains of Riverside Meadows are now a spectacle to behold as we can all enjoy the results of our wildflower seeding project. Riverside Meadows in Wallingford is a tranquil haven nestled on the floodplains that run alongside the east bank of the Thames. It’s no surprise that in the summer months it’s one of the most popular of Earth Trust’s managed Community Reserves. Earth Trust’s Land Management team, with the invaluable support of volunteers, work hard all year-round to nurture this space, encourage wildflower growth and restore a habitat which is now threatened in Oxfordshire.

Wildflower meadows are a highly valuable resource for carbon sequestration, flood mitigation and, with nectar-rich plants, they provide vital support to our dwindling populations of native pollinators (including butterflies, moths and bees). As a bonus, they’re beautiful for us to look at! 13 different types of wildflower seeds were planted on the land in 2018 in order to enhance the biodiversity of the area.

The mix used was a bespoke special mix from Charles Flowers, with crop-grown seed of British-native origin. The seeds themselves were funded by the Floodplain Meadows Partnership and included oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), common knapweed (Centaurea nigra), and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). Wildflowers are perennial. In the first year of sowing, they don’t look great as they take a few years to get going but as long as they’re not mowed until late summer the display of flowers improves and becomes more spectacular each year. Whilst, this seeding project required the work of experts, meadows can be enjoyed by everyone. You can even make your own at home with our simple guide.

We’re keen to find out what wildlife has been spotted in this newly established habitat. Let us know your sightings… Connect with us on social media or email us at [email protected] Send us your photos of Riverside Meadows in all their glory this summer. And if you’d like to identify some of the flowers that may ve growing there, take a look at our floodplain meadow wildflowers page.

Did you know?

Riverside Meadows sits within the Chilterns AONB, and contains three known sites of archaeological importance; the Burh Defences, Bullcroft and Kinecroft. It lies on the east bank of the River Thames and immediately to the south of Wallingford Bridge which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. We want a society where everyone has access to nature-filled green spaces close to where they live, work and play. Where we all have a deep understanding of our ecosystem, our place in it and our role in caring for it. Amazing places like Riverside Meadows help us engage and inspire people and to demonstrate nature-based solutions that we hope others will take and use elsewhere.