Lower Moor Farm, Cricklade
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
I had planned to visit this site in the North of the county for a while, but because of the sheer size of it I was struggling to find a way to capture the essence of it in a single blog post. The best solution when that happens is just to get on site with the camera and find out what happens.
As luck would have it, I noticed that Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and igerswiltshire were having a joint photography meeting in mid August so I tagged along and spent a couple of hours doing a recce. So this will be the first blog post where I know for a fact that I will go back to the site in the future and refine and enhance this entry.
First of all, let me try to make sense of the size of this nature reserve. It is well over 300 acres and has a variety of landscapes, which offers a connected habitat for wildlife and means a diverse range of animals and insects to discover. At its heart are the wetlands, with a series of lakes surrounded by pockets of woodland. Walk further afield and you will find an abundance of meadows, many of which are home to wildflowers such as snakehead fritillaries. Sadly, the meadows had been mowed by late August, but this is one of many reasons to come back in the different seasons.
Neil Pullen, the reserves manager from WWT was able to give us a talk at the start of the visit to put the site in context. I was fascinated to discover that the meadows may be the only ones left in the UK which have never used artificial fertilisers. This has allowed rich wildlife to flourish.
When I visited, I was able to observe some people doing a bird survey, which involved handling, weighing and ringing them. Some people spotted kingfishers around the waterways, which are the most beautiful of birds. Although the sun did not put in an appearance, there was a variety of butterflies to be seen in the woodland glades, and plenty of dragon and damselflies in the wetlands. If macro photography is your thing, then this is a good place to while away some hours.
There is just a selection of photos here. If you want to see more from the day, do check out the instagram feed which is full of fantastic shots from the day, by a variety of photographers from the local area: #igerswiltshirewildlife
There is ample parking near the visitor centre at SN16 9TW. More information about the reserve including a map of the site to plan your visit can be found here : Lower Moor Farm