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Box Farm Meadows SSSI facts for kids

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Box Farm Meadows SSSI
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Wiesensalbei 1.jpg
Example - Meadow Clary (Salvia pratensis)
Area of Search Gloucestershire
Coordinates 51°41′47″N 2°11′46″W / 51.69633°N 2.196°W / 51.69633; -2.196
Interest Biological
Area 8.3 hectare
Notification 1985

Box Farm Meadows (Stuart Fawkes reserve) is a 8.3-hectare (21-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1985. This was formerly known as Balls Green Pastures. The reserve is situated at the southern edge of Box village and one mile east of Nailsworth.

The site is owned and managed by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. It was purchased in 1978 and named in the memory of Mr F S Fawkes, a local naturalist and a founder member and former Vice-President of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (formerly the Gloucestershire Trust for Nature Conservation). Grant aid was received for its purchase from the World-wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Nature Conservancy Council (NCC), the Langtree Trust and the Dulverton Trust.

The site

The reserve consists of two meadows and supports one of the largest United Kingdom populations of the rare Meadow Clary. It is on Inferior Oolitic limestone and Fuller's Earth and faces south. It overlies extensive mine workings. These produced high quality freestone used for building in the Stroud area.

Plants

The Meadow Clary blooms in June and July, its flowers being a brilliant blue. The site also support a variety of typical limestone grassland plants which include Common Rock-rose, Cowslip, Lady's Bedstraw, Common Restharrow, Dwarf Thistle, Burnet-saxifrage, Field Scabious, Quaking-grass and Green-winged Orchids.

Conservation

The conservation is centred on promoting the spread of Meadow Clary, but maintaining and developing the overall wildlife interest. Cattle grazing is used to prevent the growth of coarse grass and restricts scrub. Thistles are cut annually and any ragwort growth is pulled.

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