Wildflower meadows in the East of England

Flower rich meadows and grassland alive with butterflies and bees are less common than they were. We're working hard to protect, conserve and restore the wildflower meadows in our care in the East of England, each one a refuge for wildlife. We'd recommend checking to see if you need to book ahead, before visiting.

The Wildflower Meadows at Anglesey Abbey with the house in the background.

Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire 

There are over 50 recorded species of wildflower in the wildflower meadows at Anglesey Abbey. Amongst the flowers growing here you'll find a variety of orchids, including the pyramidal orchid, bee orchid and spotted orchid.

Pyramid orchid

Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire 

As we head into summer, the wildflower meadows begin to bloom and the orchids emerge on the chalkland hillsides of Dunstable Downs. Did you know that chalk grasslands are home to a huge range of different species? They are comparable to rainforests in their biodiversity as you can find up to 40 different species per square metre.

Runners on Takeley Hill covered in buttercups

Hatfield Forest, Essex 

From late May, you'll witness fantastic displays of buttercups that create a sea of yellow across the main plain at Hatfield Forest. At last count there were an estimated 300 million flowers here, supporting an abundance of wildlife.

Southern marsh orchid in the meadow

Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk 

We've added the wildflowers that you'll see in the orchard meadow at Oxburgh Hall. However, if you head from My Lady’s Wood into the Wash Pit, you'll find a natural wetland meadow in which orchids and fritillaries grow. Originally part of a wider fenland landscape, here you'll be able to spot southern marsh orchids flowering in mid-summer.

Wicken Fen  - Common blue butterfly

Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire 

Wildflowers take centre stage at Wicken Fen in late spring and early summer. Look out for orchids, yellow rattle, oxeye daisies, meadow rue, yellow flag and comfrey. Keep your eyes peeled, as more come into flower.

Save the nation’s meadows 

Help us restore 1,000 hectares of wildflower meadows and protect species like the large blue butterfly, the turtledove and the great yellow bumblebee before it's too late.