Merry’s Meadows is one of the most diverse and flower-rich grasslands in Leicestershire and Rutland – a must visit for budding botanists, casual naturalists or anyone wanting to experience the sights, smells and sounds of a meadow in full bloom. With some rare and interesting flower species in the spring and summer, and fungi in the autumn, a few visits may be required!

Location

Great Lane, Greetham, Oakham,
LE15 7NG

OS Map Reference

SK 937157 (Sheet 130)
A static map of Merry's Meadows

Know before you go

Size
13 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Parking information

Park near the T-junction directly opposite Great Lane, along part of the Viking Way

Grazing animals

Livestock may be present

Access

The reserve lies in north-east Rutland, 1.5 km north of the village of Greetham and 1 km west of Stretton (on the AI). Park near the T-junction directly opposite Great Lane, along part of the Viking Way, then follow the track for about 400 metres to the reserve entrance, crossing from west to east of the hedge on the way. Acess is via a stile, and please keep to the path.

Dogs

On a lead
On a lead when livestock present. Under close control at all other times

When to visit

Opening times

Always open

Best time to visit

Spring

About the reserve

Merry’s Meadows is one of the best examples in Leicestershire and Rutland of a truly diverse meadow. Around Britain, we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows, so this is now a precious habitat. Luckily, George Merry, who owned the meadows, was passionate about preserving this amazing site, and a lack of fertilisers and herbicides over the decades has meant that Merry’s Meadows is now a diverse, thriving habitat for flowers, grasses, fungi and insects.

A sunny day in late spring is the ideal time to visit, when many of the flowers are in bloom and insects will be making the most of the abundance of food. Birdsong will blast from the thick hedges. The air will literally be buzzing. The meadows have retained their ridge and furrow pattern, where cowslip, quaking-grass, green-winged orchid and adders-tongue grow on the ridges, and cuckooflower in the damper furrows. Common and heath spotted-orchids, fragrant orchid and the rare frog orchid are present – probably the only remaining site in the two counties for the frog orchid. Pepper-saxifrage, saw-wort, dropwort and a host of other herbs and grasses have been recorded.

In the ponds common and great crested newts have been found. Butterflies, which feed on the herbs, include small skipper, small heath, small copper and common blue. Chimney sweeper moths, which feed on pignut, are often abundant. Check back in the autumn to spot some fungi – up to four species of waxcap have been recorded in one year!

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)