Chapter Meadows (Grid Reference SO8453), in the heart of Worcester city, was purchased on behalf of the people of Worcester by the Duckworth Worcestershire Trust in October 1998. The Trust works to protect this superb natural site from development by managing it in such a manner, so as to safeguard its landscape, wildlife and historical importance.
An ambitious programme of restoration projects has been undertaken with the help of government funding over the years. Work has included ditch clearance, replanting of native hedgerows along original boundaries and installation of stock-proof fencing, bridges and kissing gates.
Seasonal flooding of the meadow, by the River Severn, renders the fields unsuitable for agriculture and has helped to maintain the same landscape today as that when records began.
Throughout Roman and Norman times, the meadows were cut for hay in early summer and later grazed by cattle for the rest of the summer and autumn, to provide food. Worcester Cathedral, who later owned the then-named Chapter Meadows, subsequently adopted the practice and now this has become the Trust’s method of management too. This has allowed flower, bird, insect and mammal inhabitants to thrive and today, the meadows form part of a wildlife corridor that passes through the centre of the city.
There are two way-marked walks you can take around the meadows to observe the array of biodiversity. Species to look out for include the Club-tailed Dragonfly, Kestrel, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Kingfisher and a variety of bats.