Meadow Festival

Celebrating and protecting our vanishing wildflower meadows and the wealth of wildlife they support

Dartmoor Meadows Festival 2017

Dartmoor Hay MeadowJoin us in celebrating Dartmoor’s wonderful wildlife meadows throughout June and July.

There is something for everyone with a full programme of Open Meadow Days, Guided Walks and talks, the first Dartmoor meadows conference and a family fun day to encourage and inspire the naturalists of the future.

The Festival is being championed by the Moor Meadows Group with support from Moor than meets the eye, Dartmoor National Park and the Duchy of Cornwall.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival will be the chance to visit some of Dartmoor’s most spectacular meadows and see how they are being managed for wildlife. Several members open their meadows for free, for others to enjoy. Many of these are not normally open to the public. A full list is available below and also here

Another exciting feature of the festival is the opportunity to learn from the experts at the first Dartmoor Meadows Conference. Interest for this has been really high and all the tickets for the day have now been sold. A waiting list has been set up so please check the conference website to register your interest at

Meadow FairiesFor younger wildlife watchers we will be running the Meadow Magic Family Fun Day at Brimpts Farm, Dartmeet to celebrate Dartmoor’s fabulous meadows. Come along and make flower fairies, spectacular piskie houses or just enjoy walking around the meadows with wildlife experts. Listen to amazing Dartmoor tales, enjoy the music or tuck into the local food.

All details of the Dartmoor Meadows Festival events and activities can be found on the Moor Meadows website


Meadow Open Days

New Park, Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0HL

Saturday 10th June, 2-5pm

Free drop-in event. Limited numbers, so please book by 9th June by emailing

  • Grid ref: SX725675
  • Owners: Taryn Nixon and Odile Bourras
  • Description: Around seven acres of established wildflower meadow with many Southern Marsh Orchids, alongside the River Mardle. It is possible to walk a mile across meadows to Brook Manor - see below (one ford crossing, wellies advised).

Brook Manor, Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0HR

Saturday 10th June, 2-5pm

Free drop-in event. Limited numbers, so please book by 9th June by emailing

  • Grid ref: SX713676
  • Owners: Kevin and Donna Cox
  • Description: County Wildlife Site. 30 acres of meadows sheltered in the Mardle Valley. Several meadows under restoration into hay meadows. Includes an established damp meadow with Yellow Flag Iris, Southern Marsh Orchids and other associated wet meadow species. This meadow is managed for Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary butterflies.
  • Other notes: You are free to wander. Some steep fields. Refreshments – none, but you are welcome to bring a picnic. Dogs on leads welcome. It is possible to walk a mile across meadows to New Park – see above (one ford crossing, wellies advised).

Lewthorn Cross, Ilsington TQ13 9RR

Sunday 11th June, 10.30am-1pm

Free drop-in event.

  • Grid ref: SX779761
  • Owners: Paul and Angela Brassley
  • Description: 3.5 acres of wildflower meadow including thousands of mainly Southern Marsh Orchids.
  • Directions: SatNav will work all right. For those who’d rather not use it, take the Ilsington turning from Drum Bridges roundabout on the A38. Follow the signs to Ilsington. When you get there (about 3 miles) look out for the Ilsington Hotel on the right hand side. The field is on the left at the next crossroads.
  • Parking: If there’s no space in the road opposite the field, turn left at Lewthorn Cross and park in the playing fields car park.
  • Other notes: We will happily walk around with you or you can take your time and walk as you wish, but it would nice to see you. If we’re not in the field ring 01364 661285 and we’ll come down (our house is only 100 yards up the road).
  • Refreshments: None.

Pudsham Down near Buckland-in-the-Moor

Sunday 11th June, 2-5pm

Free drop-in event.

  • Grid ref: SX727744
  • Owners: Ralph Mackridge and Jill Millar
  • Description: Part of a County Wildlife Site, our field is just under two and a half acres of species rich grassland. Formerly used as horse and cattle pasture. In recent years it has been grazed annually in the autumn by Dartmoor ponies in collaboration with Dartmoor National Park. The field is over 300m above sea level, with wonderful views up to Holne Moor. It’s mostly very wet in the winter but largely dries out in the summer and supports a rich mosaic of vegetation, including yellow rattle, birds-foot trefoil, lousewort, water mints, knapweed (late summer) and four species of orchid: common spotted, southern marsh, greater butterfly and (a few) twayblades. Also profuse associated invertebrates.
  • Directions from Widecombe: Take the turning out of the village signed Venton, past the Rugglestone Inn. At Chittleford take the left hand form and continue up the hill to Pudsham Down where you come to a T- junction. Turn right here. About 200m further on there is a gate on the left going onto a rough track, marked as a bridle path.
  • Directions from Buckland-in-the-Moor: From the village take to road to Widecombe. After about a mile the lane comes to a junction. Turn RIGHT (Widecombe is left). Go up the hill, over a cattle grid and the entrance to the bridle path leading to the field is on the RIGHT. Our field is second one on right, so through the second gate on the right, about 60m from the road, opposite to where there is a fork in the track.
  • Parking: On the same side at the gate there is a grass verge, enough room for two cars. Alternatively, open the gate and drive down the, note, very rough track until you get to where the track forks and just opposite the gate to the field. There is room for two or three vehicles here. Also close to Cold East Cross (741742): 5mins drive. We will happily walk around with you or you can take your time and walk as you wish.
  • Refreshments: None.

Brimpts Farm Hay Meadows, Dartmeet, PL20 6SG

Saturday 17th June, 1-5pm

Free drop-in event.

  • Owner: Andy Bradford
  • Description: Five acres of species-rich hay meadows at award-winning Brimpts Farm. The meadows are brimming with various orchid species. You can wander at your leisure.
  • Directions: Brimpts Farm, Dartmeet, Dartmoor, Devon PL20 6SG.
  • Parking: Along the farm drive.
  • Access to the meadows: As you take the turning into the farm you will see a signpost on your right-hand side showing you where to walk to the meadows.
  • Refreshments: Cream teas at the farm.

Kingswood House, Oaklands Road, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0BL

Sunday 18th June, 1.30-4.30pm

Free drop-in event with walk and talk at 1.30pm.

  • Grid ref: SX729668
  • Owners: David and Jackie Crook
  • Description: Approximately 5 acres of pasture converted about 7 years ago into meadows showing what can be done with a heavily grazed area, fairly dry and well drained. Described by Devon Wildlife Trust as ‘more herbs than grass with a good mix of species’. Grass has been controlled with Yellow Rattle showing how effective this plant is. Early Purple and Southern Marsh Orchids, lots of eyebright, a good mix. If you’d like to find out how Jackie and David created their meadow they’ll be leading a walk and talk tour for the first hour.
  • Directions: Best not to follow your SatNav! From the A38, drive past Buckfast Abbey, up the hill, turn right at the top towards Holne. Take the first left (Cricket Lane) which runs down the side of the cricket/rugby ground. At the end of Cricket Lane where it joins with Oaklands Road the entrance to Kingswood House is directly in front of you.
  • Parking: There is parking on site (can take about 8 to 10 cars) so come down the drive and park in front of the house.
  • Other notes: You are free to walk at your leisure. We have about 2 acres of garden that is a mixture of formal areas as well as areas suited for wildlife and we are happy if you want to walk around our gardens as well.
  • Refreshments: None.

Great Cowhill Down at Beetor Farm, Great Cowhill, North Bovey (near Chagford)

Sunday 18th June, 12-5pm

  • Free drop-in event
  • Grid ref: SX703848
  • Owner: Steve Pollard
  • Description: An infertile, 3 hectare, dry pasture, formerly a down, with an exposed location at 300m. The field has historically been cut for silage, but for the last few years has instead been cut late to hay, without any fertiliser. It is being allowed to regenerate naturally without the introduction of seed. Please note, it is still in very much in transition and “yellow”, with lots of Cat's Ear, Hawkbit and Hay Rattle, but with some Eyebright and orchids - mainly Southern Marsh. Nearby is a 0.5 hectare area of wet Rhôs pasture, enclosed by deciduous woodland, adjacent to the River Bovey, which has Yellow Iris, Heath Spotted Orchid, Ivy-leaved Bellflower, Valerian, Devil's-bit Scabious, etc., and is being restored with lighter grazing and scrub clearance.
  • Directions from B3212: 0.6 miles south of The Miniature Pony Centre, 0.8 miles north of the moor grid, take the road signed to Lettaford. Keep right at fork, then turn into second gate on right. 50.646927, -3.834468 on Google Maps.
  • Directions from Chagford: Cross over Langaford Bridge and turn into first gateway on left after 0.3 miles
  • Parking: In adjacent field.
  • Refreshments: None.

Illustrated talk at the National Park Visitor Centre, Princetown, followed by a guided walk in a Pudhsam haymeadow

Saturday 24th June, 10.30am-3pm

  • Free event but donations most welcome.
  • Booking essential! Telephone 01364 631233 or email
  • Location: National Park Visitor Centre, Princetown, PL20 6QF
  • Description: A slideshow talk, entitled The Dartmoor Hay Meadows Project and Hay Meadow Flora, will be given by Chrissy Mason, community ecologist with the Moor than Meets the Eye project, at the National Park Visitor Centre, Princetown (Old Duchy Hotel), Princetown. This is followed by a visit to Dartmoor Preservation Association’s flower-filled hay meadow at Pudsham, near Buckland-in-the-Moor for a botanical stroll. See hay meadow conservation in action and learn about Dartmoor’s hay meadow flora. Car sharing or own cars for travel.
  • Refreshments: Bring a packed lunch.

Fursdon Farm, Moretonhampstead TQ13 8QT

Saturday 24th June, 2-5pm

  • Free drop-in event.
  • Owner: Jenny Kyle
  • Description: My meadow is about an acre and started ten years ago. We removed the top soil then broadcast a wild flower mix from Tuckers, in Ashburton. It’s been great. I’m an artist and photographer and most days film and document the insects, plants and butterflies that appear. I will be there all afternoon to discuss the method of how we created our meadow, should it be of interest to you.
  • Directions: From the centre of Moretonhampstead, opposite the Co-op, take the road to North Bovey, down Pound Street. Take the first lane left, just past the houses. Go down and up the hill to a T junction, turn left, and we are the first farm entrance on the right. It will be sign posted.
  • Parking: Come down the drive to a set of buildings where there is parking for 10 cars.
  • Refreshments: None.

Pudsham Meadows, near Buckland-in-the-moor

Thursday 29th June, 2-5pm

  • Free drop-in event
  • Grid ref: SX727745
  • Owner: Dartmoor Preservation Association
  • Description: The three meadows adjoin the enclosed part of the Pudsham Down bridlepath. The land lies at 340 metres above sea level and occupies c4.3 acres (1.7 hectares). It was acquired by the DPA in 2016. The previous owner Liza Jay Proctor entered into a Management Agreement with the DNPA and similar management will be continued.  Ponies graze the meadows for a short time each autumn. Scrub clearance and bracken control are carried out in the two smaller meadows. The latter are dominated by bracken in June. Last year the meadows contained over 3000 orchid spikes of four species: Heath Spotted-orchid; Greater Butterfly-orchid, Southern Marsh-orchid and Twayblade. Although the orchids will be over by the end of June there will be many other plants in flower.
  • Directions: From Bovey Tracey and Ashburton, approach via Cold East Cross (SX 741742).  From Widecombe, take the turning out of the centre of the village signed Venton, past the Rugglestone Inn.  At Chittleford take the left hand turn and continue up the hill onto Pudsham Down.  Turn right at the T - junction. About 200 metres further on there is a gate on the left at the top of the bridle path (after the track to Ruddycleave). The DPA's open meadow is the first gate on the left going down the bridlepath.
  • Parking: The nearest car-park is above the stream between Buckland Common and Pudsham Down (SX 735747).  There is limited parking on the verge where the bridlepath emerges onto Pudsham Down.
  • Refreshments: None.
  • Further details: If any more information is required regarding the open day please contact Hilary Marshall on 01409 211581 or (not during 10-19 June).
  • Volunteering: The DPA welcomes new volunteers who would like to join the team carrying on the conservation and enhancement of this and other sites. If you are interested, contact details can be found on the volunteering section of

Dartmoor Meadows Conference

Saturday 1st July 2017 9.30am-5.30pm

Sorry, tickets for this event are now sold out.

The first Meadow Makers’ Conference coincides with National Meadows Day and brings together all those who love wildflower meadows with top wildlife and meadow experts for an inspirational day of talks.

The event is for anyone who has a wildflower meadow or who would like to turn a pasture into one, or for those who simply wish to create wild areas in their garden – gardens and orchards can be wildflower meadows too. Come and find out from the experts about how to create and manage a meadow, whatever the scale, and find out what you can do for the wildlife that depends upon them – the bees, butterflies and birds.

Magical Meadows: A family fun day celebrating Dartmoor Meadows

Sunday 2nd July 2017, 11am-4.30pm
Brimpts Farm, Dartmoor

A FREE event aimed at kindling children's interest in the natural world and an opportunity to walk in the beautiful award winning ancient hay meadows at Brimpts Farm, which are full of wildflowers.

There will be plenty of children's activities with a chance to make magical Wildflower Fairies and Fantastic Fairy Houses. Get the buzz with The Bumblebee Conservation Trust or in a flutter with Butterfly Conservation, discover bugs and beasties with John Walters, naturalist on many television and radio programmes and much, much more!

Entry: free of charge, except a small one for the Fairy House activity. No booking necessary.

There are plenty of drop in activities throughout the day but if you want to guarantee a place at the Naturemakes Fairy House workshop then you can book an earlybird place for 10.30am-11.30am. The cost is £4 to cover materials. To book your place contact Andy on

Organised by Moor than meets the eye with support from The Moor Meadows Group.


Brimpts Farm, Dartmeet, Dartmoor PL20 6SG (view on Google Maps)

The following two Devon Wildlife Trust meadows are accessible any time, but it is recommended to visit in July.

Bellever Moor and Meadows Nature Reserve, near Postbridge

Coronation Meadow, Dunsdon, near Holsworthy

More information

The festival runs throughout June and July and is FREE.

Meadow Open Days throughout June for more details

Sat 1st July Dartmoor Meadow Makers Conference

Sat 2nd July Meadow Magic Family Fun Day

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Last update: 09 Jun 2017 11:28am