Draycote Meadow, Draycote

Coronation Meadow


"The abundance of green winged orchids is unique in the county"

- Steve Trotter, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
 

Two species rich hay meadows can be found here: green-winged orchids can number over 20,000 flower spikes in some years, producing a breathtaking display, while cowslip, pepper saxifrage and rare spiny restharrow are also to be found. The unusual grassland ferns, adder’s-tongue and moonwort grow here along with more familiar flowers like yellow rattle, meadow vetchling and knapweed. All this diversity supports a wide range of insect life, attracting around twenty species of butterfly.

Header image (above) © Steven Cheshire.

Recipient Meadows

How to get there

4 miles south west of Rugby, just north of Draycote village. The reserve is off the B4453 near to the A45 London Road interchange.

Species to spot



  • Green-winged orchid

    Best time to see: May

    The jester-like motley of its green and purple flowers gives this orchid its scientific name: morio, meaning 'fool'. It can sometimes be confused with the early-purple orchid but does not have spots on its leaves.

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  • 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. 

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  • 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.

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  • Meadow vetchling

    Best time to see: April - Aug.

    A favourite of farmers and cattle alike: its roots fix nitrogen from the air making the soil more fertile and its protein-rich seeds are a good source of food when mixed in hay. Image © Plantlife/Andrew Gagg.

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  • Marbled white butterfly

    Best time to see: June - Aug.

    A distinctive medium-sized white butterfly, with black-chequered markings, often be found feeding on purple flowers such as common knapweed. The caterpillars feed on grasses. Image © Adam Hincks/CC BY_SA

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