Conigre Mead Nature Reserve Melksham

 How it started.

The reserve in 1989 was just a field of Cocksfoot grass, occasionally grazed by cattle. There was just one Willow tree in the centre, which marks the original course of the River Avon.  It was decide to try to create a Nature Reserve here on the banks of the river for all to enjoy and to be a resource for local schools. 

Money was raised from various local organisations, councils and individuals.  The reserve was then taken over by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, who with a team of volunteers manage it.Over the course of 20 years, ponds have been dug, trees and shrubs planted.

 Local Primary school children planted wildflowers.

Please note that all photos on this website are copyright protected and must not be used without permission of the site owners.


News from Conigre Mead

'Peter's Shed'

We have now laid some railway sleepers in the reserve as a base for our new shed. The shed is partly financed by a donation from Jo Mowday in memory of her late husband Peter Mowday and his friend and mentor Helen Brotherton, who were both passionate about wildlife conservation and Natural History education. Peter Mowday was well known in Melksham as a former head teacher of the Aloeric School. He was an imaginative teacher and used to take his pupils to the Nature Reserve for all kinds of lessons. He taught Maths there, using the Reserve as a resource and a tool, as well as looking at and recording the wildlife that he and the children found.

Posted in News


The Volunteers

Group photo

The dedicated volunteers who meet on the third Saturday of each month to undertake conservation tasks at the reserve.

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In spring and summer the reserve is full of Meadow Cranesbill and Meadowsweet, with some Primroses, Cowslips, and later  Knapweed and masses of Purple Loosestrife and Willowherb.  Teasels provide nectar for many butterflies particularly Brimstone in the Spring and Tortoiseshells later in the summer


Willow Trees Along The River

Some background on the recent tree-cutting exercise

The trees along the river and around the pond have recently been coppiced and pollarded, but not cut down, as a management plan for several reasons: They are ‘crack’ willow and frequently break off their branches when they get large and heavy. This of course could be dangerous to passers-by; This will let more light into the river so allowing water plants to grow which are good for breeding dragonflies and other water creatures; They have grown very tall and have become difficult to manage by our volunteers. Willows grow quickly and will soon regrow their branches.

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Lottery Award

The Volunteer Group who help to maintain Conigre Mead Nature Reserve in Melksham, which is owned by the Wiltshire wildlife Trust, Have been awarded a BIg Lottery Grant of £47710 for works to improve the reserve. 

Posted in Lottery news

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