North Meadow, Cricklade: An ancient field where half a million wildflowers create a wall of colour

The spectacular North Meadow, in Cricklade, Wiltshire, is a Secret Britain sight we should all enjoy at least once.

If snake’s head fritillaries bring you joy, then North Meadow at Cricklade is a must.

These nodding flowers — also known as dead men’s bells, bloody warriors, drooping tulips, widow wails and solemn bells of Sodom — create a riot of colour in late spring, when half of million of them cover the ancient hay meadow, Britain’s largest hoard.

Located between the rivers Churn and Thames, it’s prone to flooding, which makes it an ideal habitat for hundreds of wildflowers, including marsh marigolds, pastel-pink cuckoo flowers, ox-eye daisies, knapweed, yellow rattle, buttercups, clouds of creamy meadow-sweet and a multitude of orchids.

You might spot green woodpeckers feeding on anthills, too, as well as strange, carved stones marking ancient hay lots.

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