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Lugg Meadow Nature Reserve

Location: Near Hereford, Herefordshire
OS: SO547 405
What Three Word location:///rent.trophy.cover

Habitat: Lammas Floodplain Meadow

A wide river passing through a green meadow
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The Reserve

Lugg Meadow is best known for its spectacular displays of fritillaries in spring.

Their nodding, checkerboard, purple flowers are a sure sign that summer is on the way. Visitors admiring these delightful plants probably have little idea of the long history that allows them to flourish. The meadows by the River Lugg were recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The meadow is divided into two sections, separated by the A438. In spring time you’ll find a mass of yellow buttercups almost as far as the eye can see. This is the best time of year to follow footpaths through the Upper Lugg Meadow – access into the Lower Lugg section is restricted from March to July to protect breeding curlews.

You’ll also find a host of meadow species, including Oxeye Daisy and the thistle-like purple heads of Common Knapweed. In damper areas, visitors might see the frothy flowerheads of Meadowsweet and the tattered, pink flowers of Ragged-robin.

In summer, the meadow has turned into a swaying hay field, but there is still colour among the hay. After the harvest, Purple-loosestrife and Flowering-rush might be spotted in wet ground by the river.


The river regularly floods its banks, bringing rich soil to fertilise the meadow. But the Lugg Meadow also relies on the ancient management that survives to this day. Patches of the meadow are owned by local families, but have never been enclosed. Instead the boundaries of each parcel are marked by “dole stones’’.

Each owner can take a crop of hay off their patch in July, then from Lammas Day (1 August) to February, the land becomes common grazing. That’s why it’s called a Lammas meadow.

Purchase of the reserve was made possible by Unilever (Timotei) and supported by Dr Diana Griffith and the National Lottery through the Heritage Memorial Fund.

Species to look out for

  • Pepper Saxifrage Silaum silaus – June – September
  • Narrow-leaved water-dropwort Oenanthe silaifoli  –  June – July
  • Crow Garlic Allium vineale  – June – August


A meadow full of yellow flowers, a blue sky and lush green trees


Lugg Meadow Nature Reserve
Ledbury Road

There is space to park in the lane by the entrance, off the A438 opposite the Cock of Tupsley pub.

Access over Upper Lugg Meadow is unrestricted but do not walk in the growing hay between late April and July. Access on Lower Lugg is restricted to public rights of way only from March to the end of July.



A delicate checkered purple Snakes Head Fritillary flowerhead drooping over grass

Take Action 📢 This Nature Reserve is under threat

We are deeply concerned that a planning application has been submitted to build 350 dwellings on land which borders our Lugg Meadows Nature Reserve, a legally protected Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and ecologically important floodplain meadow.

Plantlife is submitting an objection to the planning application for the development of land East of Hereford (Planning reference P240422/F).

This Plantlife nature reserve has a fragile ecosystem and nationally-scare plant species, including Narrow-leaved Water-dropwort (Oenanthe silaifolia). It is also one of the few ancient Lammas floodplain meadows remaining in England, adjacent to the River Lugg and part of the wider River Wye catchment.

We believe that the plans submitted by the developers will not go far enough to prevent irreversible damage to this precious, sensitive ecosystem through increased water, noise, and light pollution, road traffic and footfall from visitors. The proposed habitat enhancement and creation does not adequately compensate for the harm that could be caused to this nationally and locally-important place.

We encourage anyone who is concerned about this development to respond directly to the planning application (P240422/F) which you can do through the Herefordshire Council website: Planning Search – Herefordshire Council. The deadline is 17 April 2024.