Winks Meadow

Location: Metfield, Suffolk

Grid Reference: TM 303 799

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Awash with colour

Winks Meadow is a tiny remnant of what was once an extensive area of unimproved grassland at the beginning of the last century. The meadow is now an oasis for wildlife surrounded by arable land and an old airfield.

Cowslips, pepper-saxifrage, adder’s-tongue fern and sulphur clover are found in a grassy matrix of crested dog’s-tail, cock’s-foot and red fescue. This is maintained thanks to hay cutting or summer grazing, and when frog orchid appeared here in 1990, it was the first record of this species in Suffolk for 30 years. Four other species of orchid have also been recorded at Winks Meadow – common-spotted, green-winged, bee and pyramidal.

Other flowers present that are now scarce in the county include spiny restharrow and the sulphur clover. The meadow is enclosed by tall hedges which are mostly quite young, but the northern section is species-rich including dogwood, field maple and spindle.

It has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The reserve purchase was made possible by Unilever (Timotei).