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Elmlea Meadows facts for kids

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Site of Special Scientific Interest
Snake's head fritillary, North Meadow National Nature Reserve, Cricklade - - 417022.jpg
Example - snake's head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
Area of Search Gloucestershire
Coordinates 51°39′09″N 1°53′11″W / 51.652387°N 1.886485°W / 51.652387; -1.886485
Interest Biological
Area 6.9 hectare
Notification 1989

Elmlea Meadows is a 6.9-hectare (17-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1989. The site is listed in the 'Cotswold District' Local Plan 2001-2011 (on line) as a Key Wildlife Site (KWS).


The site lies to the north-west of Cricklade near the county boundary, and consists of three meadows which have been managed for hay followed by grazing. The meadows overlie the alluvium and gravels of the Thames floodplain.


The grassland included meadow foxtail and great burnet and supports a rich flora. This is a nationally important meadow area, and supports the nationally rare fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) and the rare downy-fruited sedge (Carex tomentose). The population of fritillary is the largest reported in Gloucestershire. To the north of Cricklade, in the county of Wiltshire, is North Meadow which is both an SSSI and a national nature reserve (NNR) which supports some 80% of the British population of fritillary.

The small area of scrub on the site is dominated by grey willow and crack willow and supports a large number of typical wetland species. It is the only known site for tufted-sedge (Carex elata) in Gloucestershire.

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