Skip to main content

Three Hagges Woodmeadow is a 10-hectare reserve near York, and an incredible example of woodmeadow habitat which hosts an abundance of plants and invertebrates. Visitors can connect with nature among native British trees such as Small Leaved Lime Tilia cordata and Hazel Corylus avellana, which grow alongside some of our most iconic meadow species such as Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare and Lady’s Bedstraw Galium verum.

What is a woodmeadow?

Spring wildflowers growing in a woodland

Woodmeadows, or wooded meadows, are species-rich hay meadows with stands of trees – an ancient form of combining agricultural meadows with forestry. Three Hagges Woodmeadow is a patchwork of woodlands, copse and wildflower meadows, including a lowland wet meadow and a lowland dry meadow.

Woodmeadows are ‘habitat mosaics’, comprising of lots of ‘messy edges’ which support a huge variety of homes for wildlife. Long established woodmeadows can support extraordinary levels of botanical diversity, with some ancient European examples supporting 70+ plant species per square metre.

Paul Rowland, Conservation Land Manager:

Why are nature reserves important?

‘Nature reserves offer islands of sanctuary for wildlife that’s under ever-increasing pressure from human activity and climate change. Plantlife’s work aims to not only provide robust and dynamic habitats for plants, fungi and their associated birds, animals and invertebrates to thrive, but also to extend their influence beyond their boundaries.

Nature reserves can and must be more than just islands. Our green spaces can provide sanctuary for us too – through wellbeing, education and the more sustainable production of healthy food.

Three Hagges Woodmeadow provides Plantlife with a unique opportunity, in our suite of nature reserves, in that it is a restored habitat on a site that was previously used for intensive agriculture. We will enhance the wood and grassland habitats here to help nature flourish and to provide opportunities for people to learn about, enjoy, contribute to and be rewarded by a beautiful environment that’s rich in plants and fungi.’

Expanding our network of reserves is important for nature, as it allows us to use the wealth of expertise within Plantlife to help green spaces thrive.

Recent work on our reserves has included planting fruit trees to benefit an ancient orchard landscape and the rare beetles that call them home as well as managing meadows to help Butterfly Orchids bloom in record numbers.

Welcoming a new reserve is a transformational moment in Plantlife’s history. It presents us with a unique opportunity to deliver our ambition to protect and restore wild plants and fungi, in meadows and woodlands for communities across the UK.

Ian Dunn, Plantlife’s CEO shares his excitement as we celebrate our 24th reserve:

“We were absolutely delighted to have been chosen by the Woodmeadow Trust to become the new guardians of their activities and assets. We are thrilled to be the new custodians of Three Hagges Woodmeadow and wider woodmeadow work moving forward and consider the combination to be a major contributor to Plantlife’s ambition for delivering a world rich in plants and fungi.”

Our Reserves

Lugg Meadow Nature Reserve
A delicate checkered purple Snakes Head Fritillary flowerhead drooping over grass

Lugg Meadow Nature Reserve

Lugg Meadow is best known for its spectacular displays of fritillaries in spring, and it's rare Lammas floodplain meadow habitat.

Three Hagges Woodmeadow Nature Reserve
A roundhouse surrounded by wildflower meadow and small trees

Three Hagges Woodmeadow Nature Reserve

Three Hagges Woodmeadow is Plantlife’s newest reserve in Yorkshire. Discover more about the reserve and how to visit.

Deep Dale Nature Reserve
Early Purple Orchids at Deep Dale

Deep Dale Nature Reserve

The nature reserve, located in the Peak District national Park, is filled with colour from the wild plants and flowers spreading over the hill side.