Little Marises Meadow
Know before you go
Parking informationNo parking spaces at the site but the wide verge at the Western entrance to Canon Tump Common gives enough space for one or two cars. Please do not block the gates or any other private access.
Grazing animalsLivestoock grazing at certain times during the year
There are no formal paths through these meadows; please keep to the edges while the hay crop is growing from May to August. Dogs are not allowed on these reserves due to the hay crop grown here and grazing livestock.
There are no formal paths through the site, surface is grass with a gentle gradient.
When to visit
Opening timesDawn to dusk
Best time to visitApril to June
About the reserve
Known as ‘Little Marises’, the flower-rich meadow lies between two other nature reserves – Cethins Meadow and Canon Tump Common – in the Black Mountains Valley, near to Michaelchurch Escley.
The meadow is filled with wild flowers in early summer, such as common spotted orchids, ox-eye daisies and eye bright. It is also a wonderful place to spot meadow butterflies and day-flying moths.
The meadow is just under two hectares and is divided into two fields by a traditional hedgerow and mature trees. It also includes the source of the Slough Brook; just a trickle through the meadow. Sites like this are hugely important as the UK has lost around 97% of its wildflower meadows since the 1940s.
These meadows are created though being managed traditionally – cut for hay annually then grazed with sheep or cattle – rather than being ‘improved’ with fertilizers which creates a more uniform pasture with one or two grass species and few, if any, flowers. This management, which is being continued by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, allows a diversity of flower and grass species to thrive which in turn allows insect, small mammal and reptile species to flourish. These animals provide food for birds and larger mammals while the surrounding hedgerows and trees provide their shelter.
For visitors, the reserve is best accessed by parking at Canon Tump Common Nature Reserve (SO 327 346) and following the bridleway through the reserve onto the green lane and through the gate in the eastern corner of Little Marises.
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