Chimney Meadows, Bampton

Coronation Meadow


"A place where you could spend a day in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by wildlife."

- Matt Jackson, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
 

Set in an ancient landscape, created by the Thames and shaped by centuries of farming, it is hard to believe that Chimney Meadows was intensely cultivated farmland little over a decade ago. Fields once planted with wheat and barley are now colourful, species-rich wild-flower meadows. Once heavily grazed pastures are now nationally-important wetlands and home to declining wading birds such as curlew, which breed here.

Header image (above) © Natural England/Peter Wakely

Recipient Meadows

How to get there

From the A420 take right signposted Tadpole Bridge and Bampton, turn right just after Tadpole Bridge towards Chimney to reach the car park

Species to spot



  • Cowslip

    Best time to see: April - May

    Easy to spot with its yellow cup-shaped flowers nodding at the end of tall stems. The name cowslip allegedly derives from ‘cowslup' - an old term for cowpat - since where the cow 'slupped' this flower was often found. 

    Did you spot this species...?
    Share your find on Twitter or Facebook


  • Adder’s-tongue fern

    When to see: June - August

    Its bright green, serpentine spike is a distinctive sight and likely the "adder's tongue" in question. A good indicator of ancient meadows. Image © Andrew Gagg/Plantlife.

    Did you spot this species...?
    Share your find on Twitter or Facebook


  • Bird’s-foot trefoil

    Best time to see: May-Sept.

    Also known as 'eggs and bacon', Bird's-foot trefoil is a good source of nectar for insects and forage for cattle. The 'bird's-foot' of its name refers to the shape of its seed pods.

    Did you spot this species...?
    Share your find on Twitter or Facebook


  • Curlew

    Best time to see: All year

    Curlew are very large, tall waders, about the same size as a female pheasant. The sound of the curlew's display call ('Cur-lee') is unmistakeable and can be heard from February through to July on its breeding grounds. Image (c) Damian Waters (www.drumimages.co.uk)

    Did you spot this species...?
    Share your find on Twitter or Facebook


  • Hebridean sheep

    A small breed which often grows two pairs of horns. Their wool is coarse and black, fading to brown in sunlight and grey with age. Able to thrive in rough grazing conditions, they are good choice for controlling scrub. Image © Adam Somerville/CC BY-SA

    Did you spot this species...?
    Share your find on Twitter or Facebook


  • Dexters

    Developed in the South West of Ireland, they are the smallest breed of cattle in the British Isles and produce excellent beef and milk.  Dexters can be black, red or dun in colour, and can be horned or polled.

    Image by the RBST

    Did you spot this species...?
    Share your find on Twitter or Facebook