Greena Moor, Week St. Mary
Greena Moor, formerly known as Creddacott Meadows, represents one of the last remaining areas of culm grassland in north Cornwall. This distinctive type of habitat develops on poorly drained acid soils which stay wet even in the driest weather because of the rock structure below: a mixture of shales, slates and sandstones laid down about 300 million years ago. The flora that grows here, including ragged robin and whorled caraway (see 'Species to spot' below), is specially adapted to survive - and even thrive - in waterlogged conditions. Sadly these kind of meadows have declined dramatically in Cornwall in recent years, making Greena Moor particularly important for plant conservation.
The reserve is managed by traditional light cattle grazing. The cows remain on the reserve for most of the year, but are taken off during the wet winter months. A low mound on the stream's slopes may be the remains of a Bronze Age barrow, one of many found in the area.
Header image (above) © Plantlife/Bob Gibbons.
How to get there
At the Red Post Inn on the A3072 between Bude and Holsworthy take the B3254 towards Launceston. Turn off to the right towards Week St Mary when signposted. In Week St Mary there is a minor road signposted to Launceston at the southern end of the village.
Take the right hand turn off this road just south of The Green Inn public house. Creddacott Meadows is 1 1/2 km further on the left. OR take the B3254 from Launceston towards Bude. Turn left to Week St Mary when signposted.
Species to spot
Best time to see: May - June
Once common, this butterfly is now one of our most threatened. It feeds on Devil's-bit scabious. Early lepidopterists called it the "greasy fritillary" because of its shiny appearance. Image © Andrew Curtis/CC BY-SA
Best time to see: June - Sept.
Long-living and slow-growing, this vivid magenta wild flower was used in the past as to protect against sorcery and - according to the Anglo Saxon Herbal - 'frightful nocturnal goblins'. Image © Plantlife/Andrew Gagg.
Best time to see: All year
Seeing signs of otters is easier than seeing the animals themselves. Look for five-toed footprints (about 6-7cm long) and droppings known as 'spraints'. These contain fishbones and smell, like Jasmine tea! Image © Sue Crookes
This frothy flower derives its name from its leaves which form a circlet - or 'whorl' - around the base of its stem. Although its related to the spice Caraway, it has no culinary or medicinal use. Image © Plantlife/Bob Gibbons