This stunning meadow running alongside the east bank of the Thames in Wallingford is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the river, and on a warm summer’s day Riverside Meadows comes alive with families enjoying the beautiful setting.
Located south of Wallingford Bridge, Riverside Meadows hosts the annual Wallingford Regatta and Raft race. It is also home to Riverside Parks and Pool which features a park, pool, play area and splash pad.
Enjoy the display of wildflowers such as oxeye daisy, common knapweed and bird’s foot trefoil during the summer months. You might even see the unmistakable bright blue and orange flash of a kingfisher darting along the riverbank if you’re lucky.
At dusk, keep an eye out for serotine and Daubenton’s bats foraging over the river, whilst Pipistrelle bats are more likely to be seen using tree corridors created by ditches and lanes across the meadows.
Historical and archaeological investigations have revealed Riverside Meadows to be a significant location for settlement, communication, ritual and strategic activity for at least 3,000 years.
Many of the landforms visible today are due to the land’s historic uses. Due to it’s rich historical and archaeological interest, the entire site has been placed on the Sites and Monuments Register.
The Earth Trust has worked hard to revitalise wildflower habitats at Riverside Meadows, and rare lowland floodplain meadows have been restored in the large field at the southern end of Riverside Meadows.
Annual hay cuts in July, followed by cattle grazing until November, are a crucial part of the site’s management to encourage wildflower growth and restore a habitat which is now threatened in Oxfordshire.
A former World War II pillbox at Riverside Meadows has been converted into a bat hibernaculum. The partially blocked gun slots, terracotta roofing tiles and a blanket hung on the walls create perfect cracks and crevices for roosting bats.
Earth Trust manages the site on behalf of South Oxfordshire District Council.
Opening Times: Always open
Parking: Very limited residential parking, please park carefully and considerately not blocking access for residents
Dog Walking: Dogs allowed when on the lead; cattle often graze here so please take extra care