The reserve began with the purchase of one ten acre field in 1999. There are now six fields – 10 Acre, New Croft, Meakers, Phippens, Nortons and Footmead – on Congresbury Moor, which is part of Biddle Street Site of Special Scientific Interest, adjacent to the Strawberry Line and managed by YACWAG as a refuge for wildlife.
This area was once known as the Northmarsh and it is still damp enough to harbour wetland plants and animals. The fields are managed as “rough grassland” with a non-intensive level of cutting and grazing. There are some wetland wild flowers like fleabane and cuckoo flower, moorland birds like snipe and stonechat and, because of the high numbers of small mammals, kestrels and barn owls have bred here. Roe deer and brown hares can sometimes be seen from the Strawberry Line, which gives a good view over the Ten Acre field.
One of the fields, New Croft, is managed as traditional hay meadow, and has typical flowers such as knapweed and pepper saxifrage and clouds of grassland butterflies. The fields are left undisturbed for nature but members can visit by appointment (email us) or on our organised guided walks.