Lady’s Mead, Kingcombe

Coronation Meadow


"A step back in time."

- Dorset Wildlife Trust
 

One of a set of meadows at Kingcombe, Lady's Mead was given its name when it was split from an adjoining field known as 'Lord’s Mead'. The meadow is still managed as part of a working farm, grazed by cows & sheep, using traditional methods without artificial fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides.

Lady's Mead sustains many common wild flowers including devil's-bit scabious & knapweed (see 'Species to spot' below). Butterflies include varieties of skipper & fritillaries and birds abound, with visiting summer warblers, as well as dippers & grey wagtails. It is particularly impressive in spring/early summer for the blaze of colour.

How to get there

From Dorchester take the A37 to Yeovil.  Just after the village of Grimstone turn left on A356.  Continue past Maiden Newton & turn left at the top of the hill to Toller Porcorum.  Turn right in the village signposted to Lower Kingcombe.  Travel 1 mile, look for Kingcombe Visitors Centre sign on right.

Species to spot



  • Betony

    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.

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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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  • Common knapweed

    Best time to see: June - Sept

    A thistle-like plant also known as 'black knapweed', although its flowers are actually bright pink. It is a popular source of nectar for the Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Painted Lady and many other butterflies.

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  • Ragged-robin

    Best time to see: May - June

    With its air of charming dishevellment, this rakish wildflower brightens up damp and poorly drained meadows. It blooms when the cuckoo starts to call. Image © Plantlife/Chris Harris.

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  • Skylark

    Best time to see: All year

    Male skylarks can be spotted rising almost vertically from the ground, hovering and singing from a great height before parachuting back down to earth. Despite their aerial activities, skylarks nest on the ground, laying three to four eggs. Image (c) Stefan Johansson

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