Chancellors Farm, Priddy Nr Wells

Coronation Meadow

 

"An unspoilt historic landscape, still turning up new species after 20 years”

– Kate Lawrence, Somerset Wildlife Trust

*The Somerset Wildlife Trust arrange regular visits to this meadow. Please contact them for details *

This unspoilt, historic landscape remains an active working farm. The meadows are an unusual mixture of lime-rich, neutral and acidic areas which consequently support a wide range of species. These include less common plants such as fragrant orchid and meadow saffron, as well as more familiar flowers such as bluebell, harebell, betony, hay rattle, greater and lesser knapweed and devil’s-bit scabious. Both common spotted-orchid and heath spotted-orchid grow in abundance and often sport hybrids. Even after 20 years, Kate Lawrence, the site manager, is still discovering new species.

The meadows are cut for hay in summer which is used to feed livestock over winter. These include a herd of Ruby Red Devon cattle.

Header image (above) © Steve Bond

Species to spot



  • Fragrant orchid

    Best time to see: June - July

    Usually pink but can vary from purple to white. The fragrant orchid lives up to its name by producing a sweet, orangey smell that is particularly strong in the evening. Image © Philip Precey

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  • Devil’s-bit scabious

    Best time to see: June - Sept.

    A pink pin-cushion-like flower which our ancestors believed cured scabies (hence "scabious"). It has short, stubby roots which - according to legend - were bitten off by the Devil to prevent its healing powers.

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  • Barn owl

    Best time to see: All year.

    Its silent flight and piercing screech have earnt it names like 'ghost owl' and 'death owl'. Able to hunt both night and day its heart-shaped face directs high-frequency sounds, helping it to find its prey. Image © Les Binns.

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  • Pignut

    Best time to see: April - June

    With delicate, branched stems, and white umbels of small flowers. Shakespeare refers to pignut in The Tempest when Caliban says 'I pr’ythee, let me bring thee where crabs grow; And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts; Show thee a jay’s nest, ....' 

    Image by Cath Shellswell, Plantlife

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  • Black welsh mountain sheep

    Bred in the middle ages for their deep black wool by Benedictine monks, this easy-to-manage small mountain breed is also renowned for the quality of its meat.

    Image by the RBST

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