Clegg’s Meadow

Wombwell, Barnsley

Eleven acres of arable land on the west side of Broomhill Flash were converted into a hay-meadow using seed harvested from an ancient wildflower meadow in 2004.

Named as a permanent memorial to the renowned Yorkshire broadcaster and naturalist Michael Clegg, the meadow contains an abundance of grasses and flowers such as ox-eye daisy, meadow buttercup, bird’s-foot trefoil, red and white clovers, sweet vernal grass, meadow foxtail, and red fescue and helps to reverse the continued nationwide decline of this special habitat.

Clegg’s meadow full of Cowslips in Spring

Many birds such as skylarks, swallows, lapwings, oystercatchers and grey partridges use the meadow for feeding and breeding.

The meadow has a spectacular show of cowslips in spring, followed by buttercups in the summer and a riot of colour just before harvest.

Clegg’s Meadow is traditionally managed by the ‘shutting up’ (not allowing any grazing or other use) of the meadow from autumn to spring, to allow the grass and flowers to grow.

Meadow Flower
Ragged Robin – a lovely wet meadow flower at Clegg’s Meadow (Jeff Lunn)

Hay-cutting then occurs in early July with the ‘windrows’ of cut hay being allowed to dry before baling. After the hay is cut, cattle grazing is allowed until November. This helps to keep the meadow in good condition by returning some nutrients back to the soil and keeping the sward healthy.