Know before you go
Please shut all gates behind you and stick to the paths.
Footpaths around the reserve, please keep dogs on a lead.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
You can spot this island of quintessential England a mile off. Surrounded as it is by large, deep green fields and arable crops managed within intensive production systems, walking into Melverley Farm is like slipping into a different world. Dense hedges crowned with mature oaks, ash and horse chestnut enclose small fields that hum with insects and brim with different grasses and flowers.
There are also several field ponds, good places for dragonflies, frogs and newts. Old, flower-rich hay meadows rarely survive now outside nature reserves; Melverley Farm, amazingly, continued in its old-fashioned farming ways, right up until 1995, when the Trust bought it. Look out for old favourites such as ragged robin, common spotted orchids, pignut and kingcups. All these plants used to be much more widespread; here you can still count on finding them. Part of the farm is grazed by cattle, the rest is hay meadow. June is the best time to visit, when the hay meadow is in full bloom. But remember this is a working farm with livestock, so please shut all gates behind you, keep dogs under control and stick to the paths.
Directions: Follow signs to Ash. From the pub in the village of Ash Magna go along Church Lane. There is a small layby next to a small gateway and interpretation panel on the right just beyond the first small lane on the right.