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What to look for 

 Perfect for frosty winter walks and spring strolls, the Laverstock Water Meadows are home to a rich variety of wildlife all year round.

Laverstock Water Meadows


Look for early flowering Marsh marigold and frogspawn in wet pools and ditches. The first butterflies should be on the wing, particularly Brimstone and Peacock.

Listen for the loud, laughing sound of the Green woodpecker, as birdsong begins to fill the air. See if you can make out the 'chiff chaff chiff chaff' song of the appropriately named Common chiffchaff.


During the summer look for Grey wagtail and Common chiffchaff by the river, along with the flash of blue of a Kingfisher. Swallows and House martins sweep through the air, feeding on the rich insect life the meadow and river supports.


Look for demoiselles, dragonflies and a myriad of butterflies in amongst the flowers and taller meadow grasses. 

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As the temperature cools, look for the arrival of Redwing in small flocks. A winter visitor, they roam across the countryside feeding on berries. Listen out for them on clear evenings, with their distinctive 'tsee' call overhead.

Look for fungi like Yellow fieldcap (left) or inkcaps in the meadows.


Marvel at the water meadows in winter, as they hold excess water from the chalk springs to the west of the meadows and help slow the flow of the River Bourne.

Now is a good time to spot the carrier ditches left behind from when, as water meadows, they were deliberately flooded with warm, nutrient-rich water in late winter to encourage an early growth of grass for grazing. There are also more modern ditches crossing the meadows which were installed to drain the land for housing development in the 1980's. We are managing these to provide further wildlife habitat interest as nature takes hold again.

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