Mowbray Fields is a tranquil, natural green space nestling in the heart of Didcot, Oxfordshire. Earth Trust’s land management programme has successfully nurtured this rare habitat to become home to the stunning Common Spotted and Southern Marsh Orchids. On a summer’s day, Mowbray Fields is perfect for family picnics and walks in nature.
Cyclists and walkers can both enjoy visiting this space with access to the Sustrans national cycle network and public footpaths.
What to see
The wildflower meadow was sown in 2001 and has transformed the former grassland into a rich flowering meadow. It now provides a haven for biodiversity, with more than 200 species of invertebrates and the mammals and birds that this attracts.
A raised causeway and viewing platform in the middle of the reserve let you get right up close to fascinating ecosystems including ponds, rough grassland, marsh and wet woodland. In the spring, look out for frogs spawning in the water.
Spring and early summer are also a good time to look for the Common Spotted and Southern Marsh Orchids.
South Oxfordshire District Council bought the site in the 1980s and in 2000 it was designated a Local Nature Reserve. Earth Trust have been managing the reserve on behalf of the council ever since.
Much of the management revolves around maintaining a balance between open and covered areas – creating a mosaic of habitats. This includes coppicing the willow, cutting back the grassland and creating piles of deadwood. Letting in light, brings in new species, and deadwood piles are luxury hotels to invertebrates. Earth Trust’s meadow management is about supporting nature’s cycle.
Parking: Limited residential parking only; please park carefully and considerately not blocking access for residents
Opening Times: Always open
Dog Walking: Dogs allowed when on lead, dogs waste bins on site
Additional: Find us at Lake Road, East Hagbourne, Didcot OX11 9LZ