Bury Hill Meadows Nature Reserve
Bury Hill Meadows in Detail
When purchased in 2021 the site was a remnant arable field and its past use for agriculture means that the site is very nutrient rich. Following seeding in 2022 and 2023 with a native chalk grassland mix the site is beginning to develop into a rich wildflower meadow. The meadows will be managed through a late hay cut which will assist in reducing some of the nutrients which are stored in the soil. This will in turn aid in the development and establishment of a quality chalk grassland habitat, which has a shorter structure and is more characteristic of our chalk downland landscape.
A diverse range of plant species can already be found at Bury Hill Meadows including Kidney vetch, the only food source of the small blue butterfly, a Biodiversity Action Plan priority species. Although not currently recorded on site it is hoped that this often over looked butterfly will make this site their home. The site is a valuable habitat for a number of butterfly species including the Brown Hair Streak, another Priority Species which relies on young Blackthorn trees to breed, making the established hedgerows and newly planted woodland edge vitally important.
The site is also home to a number of farmland birds, with skylarks often heard calling above the meadow. A range of birds of prey can also be seen hunting the grassland area including Sparrow Hawks, Kites, Buzzards and Kestrels.