Loughborough Big Meadow, Loughborough
One of the few Lammas meadows left in England, the whole meadow is subject to complex commoner's rights dating back to at least 1762.
Most of the site is mown for hay during June or July each year and is then grazed during late summer and autumn. The next crop of hay then grows over the winter and following spring. The meadows are the only known site in the county today for the nationally scarce narrow-leaved water-dropwort.
Header image (above) © Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
How to get there
The meadow lies alongside the River Soar and Meadow Lane between Loughborough and Stanford on Soar. There is parking for several cars on the roadside.
Species to spot
Best time to see: April - Aug.
The bulbous, blood-red heads of this member of the rose family often indicate a floodplain meadow. The name burnet comes from the Old French for 'dark brown' - the same source as 'brunette'.
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
Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and others