We had a fantastic day yesterday exploring 3 amazing places to see spectacular wild flowers in the Cotswolds. We started off at Barnsley Warren SSI where the Pasqueflowers are looking superb. They are on a beautiful Cotswold hillside – the setting is stunning.
Next, we moved on to North Meadow~ in Cricklade which is an amazing meadow overflowing with Snakeshead fritillaries I hadn’t realised just how large the meadow is…or quite how many Snakeshead fritillaries there would be.
In the afternoon we went to Clattinger Farm – an ancient meadow. It is a carpet of cowslips at the moment and the first Green Winged Orchids are making an appearance.
An amazing day – if you want to see the Pasqueflowers or the Snakeshead fritillaries you will have to move fast. They are at their best now!
Another hidden gem waiting to be discovered in the Cotswolds is the Pasqueflower This rare wildflower has been lost from many of the places where it used to grow, but on the Barnsley Warren Nature Reserve, just north of Cirencester it is thriving, with a population of approximately 20,000 plants.
Geoffrey Grigson, writing of the pasqueflower in ‘The Englishman’s Flora’ wrote that it has, “…a fair claim to being the most dramatically and exotically beautiful of all English plants.”
The Barnsley Warren Nature Reserve is also home to cowslips, early purple orchids and violets and has a good butterfly population. Rabbit and brown hare help to maintain the short grassland and common lizards can often be found on areas of bare scree.
It looks like being a good year for the Pasqueflower, so if you would like to see it plan to go soon…and remember to tread carefully!