Lugg Meadow

Lugg Meadows

Lugg Meadow

Lugg Meadow is one of the most important surviving Lammas Meadows in the UK.

Location

Lugg Meadow Nature Reserve
Ledbury Road
Tupsley
Herefordshire
HR1 1UT

OS Map Reference

SO 527 411

View on What3Words

A static map of Lugg Meadow

Know before you go

Size
46 hectares
P

Parking information

There is space to park in the lane by the entrance, off the A438 opposite the Cock of Tupsley pub.

Grazing animals

The meadows are grazed seasonally by sheep and cattle.

Walking trails

Access over Upper Lugg Meadow is unrestricted but do not walk in the growing hay between late April and July. Access on Lower Lugg is restricted to public rights of way only from March to the end of July. In winter, the whole area may be flooded to a depth of over 1m. for long periods, and access becomes impossible or distinctly dangerous. Take care when walking near the river as there are vertical cliffs along its banks.

Access

There are no surfaced paths and no wheelchair access at this reserve.

Dogs

On a lead

On a lead between 1st March and 31st July to protect nesting birds as well as when livestock are on site. At all other times please keep dogs under close, effective control.

When to visit

Opening times

Dawn to dusk. Access may be restricted in areas during the bird breeding season.

Best time to visit

Spring and Summer

About the reserve

Upper & Lower Lugg meadows are unique, being living survivors of a land tenure and farming economy system that has disappeared elsewhere. Dating back to the time before the Domesday Book, Lugg Meadow is one of the most important surviving Lammas Meadow (common meadows opened for communal grazing on Lammas Day, the 1st August) in the UK. Ownership of the meadow is still divided, though in medieval times this would have been between dozens of owners with the land doled out in strips, today these have become amalgamated and a handful of different owners own largish parcels of the land.

Over 20 grass species are recorded here as well as a variety of herbaceous plants. Two special plants found here are the snake's head fritillary and the  narrow-leaved water dropwort - both nationally scarce. The fritillaries are currently doing well in the reserve, with numbers now over 1,500, and the population slowly spreading. Lugg Meadow is part of the Lower Lugg Valley Living Landscape, a wetland landscape rich in wildlife.

Found at the far north end of Lugg Meadows Reserve is Lugg Mills Island, a four hectare island formed by the confluence of the River Lugg and Little Lugg. Partly flooded over in winter, this riverine habitat supports a range of species. The unpolluted river supports a healthy otter population and over 120 species of river plants are present.

The great expanses of open grassland are an important breeding habitat for curlew and skylark, both of which are in decline in Herefordshire. In times of winter flood, the meadows become a huge and spectacular lake, which is highly attractive to roosting gulls and visiting winter wildfowl, including both wild swans, grey geese, and surface-feeding duck such as wigeon, shoveler, teal and mallard. Birds of prey including peregrine and merlin may be seen hunting over the meadows at this time. In spring and autumn, migrant waders like greenshank, redshank, black-tailed godwit, snipe, lapwing and common sandpiper use the muddy pools and runnels to rest and feed before resuming their journeys.

Contact us

David Hutton