Grimes meadows

Gimes meadow

The Wychwood Project acquired the Grimes site in 2010. Formed of two areas, Grimes Mead and Little Grimes, Grimes makes up part of the lowland flood meadows along the River Windrush in the east of Witney.

The area is tightly bordered by Witan Way to the west, New Bridge Street buildings to the north and Newland Mill houses to the east. South of the area is Cogges Manor Farm. Records show that, historically, the area was an open landscape with field boundaries marked out by ditches. 

The meadows were defined by these watercourses and the only large vegetation (predominantly traditionally pollarded willows) was found lining the watercourses. This can be seen on maps dating back to 1797 and it is possible that Grimes was the location of one of the Cogges priory mills circa 1250.

The character of the site has remained much the same for at least the past 200 years. In 2001 the site became a designated Local Wildlife Site within the Lower Windrush Valley Conservation Target Area. A Local Wildlife Site Survey carried out in June 2010 described Grimes Mead as unimproved neutral grassland and sedge-dominated swamp community.

The management of Grimes is focused on four main tasks:

  1. Pollarding willows in rotation
  2. Maintaining sward height of grass, sedges and rushes
  3. Repairing and maintaining boundary fencing
  4. Monitoring and surveying the site

The Wychwood Project's aim is to keep this site in its natural state and manage it for its ecological and historic importance.