New Marston Meadows
Photo above - 19 March 2017: Clearing rank overgrowth on a bank with a number of rare and scarce plants, including the rare, nationally red-listed, Small Flat Sedge, Blysmus compressus, on a spring line in Burnt Mill Meadow and Almond's Farm Local Wildlife Site. The bank is in Almond's Farm Meadow, property of Oxford City Council. Due to tenant farmer changes the bank had not been grazed or cut for 6 years. Rare plants will be lost, if no action is taken.
The nationally red-listed Small Flat Sedge, Blysmus compressus is the rarest; this is its last site in Oxfordshire. David Morris (one of the scythers) is its Flora Guardian within the Oxfordshire Flora Group - see his 23 March 2017 entry on http://oxbot.blogspot.co.uk/
For photos of the event click here For videos, click here
For photos taken by Judy Webb of Almonds Farm Meadow between 2009 and 2014, click here
New Marston Meadows, adjacent to the Cherwell river in Oxford, are an important green link between the SAC meadows of Yarnton West Mead and Pixey Mead to the north-west and Magdalen and Iffley Meadows to the south.
New Marston Meadows SSSI (designated 1993) contains 44.42 ha of fields that were designated either as good examples of lowland neutral grassland, NVC (National Vegetation Classification) community MG4, Meadow Foxtail – Great Burnet (Alopecurus pratensis-Sanguisorba offininalis) flood meadow or as variants of a valuable, more swampy, meadow or grazed-meadow type and one on slightly higher ground is a drier community most similar to NVC community MG5, Crested Dog’s-tail – Knapweed (Cynosurus cristatus – Centaurea nigra)
11 plants on the draft Rare Plants Register (RPR) for Oxfordshire are found in the meadows adjacent to the Cherwell River within the New Marston Meadows SSSI boundaries. There are a further three species on the draft RPR in meadows outside the SSSI but within a Local Wildlife Site.
The information above was taken from
Report by Judy Webb on New Marston Meadows - 25 May 2011 for the Rare Plants Group of the Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire and the New Marston Wildlife Group (dissolved 30 March 2015, now Friends of Milham Ford Nature Park).
Judy Webb's map showing public paths, with information on the meadows
Defra's 'Magic' map of the New Marston Meadows site (can be a bit slow to load at times)
New Marston Meadows history and further information
Recent history of surveying and management of New Marston Meadows, by Judy Webb, 30 April 2017
'A story of flowers, floods and friends', an article posted by Kirsty B. (5 Oct 2014 ) on the RSPB Farming blog about the New Marston SSSI and local farmer Mr Blackburn, much of whose farm is within it. Judy is mentioned - she sent Kirsty her records for the site.
'How to manage hedges to maximise their benefits for people and farms' - a leaflet by Rob Wolton, posted by Hedgelink. The photo by Judy is of meadow 50B of New Marston Meadows, taken on 28 November 2012.
Photos of flooding in New Marston Meadows:
28 11 2011 by Judy Webb
11 01 2014 by Marilyn Cox
13 01 2014 by Marilyn Cox
Photos below taken in New Marston Meadows on 13 September 2015 by Judy Webb