Woodsides Meadow is probably the smallest reserve that you will ever visit – it is just one field and quite a small one at that. When I visited the most exciting inhabitant was a small flower less than a centimetre across!
Woodsides Meadow isn’t the easiest nature reserve to get to! The BBOWT website tells you to park in Wendlebury village and this is actually the best thing to do even though you’ll have about a mile to walk to get to the reserve itself. I parked just south of the village hall next to a couple of garages. The walk south to the reserve takes you over the M40 immediately after which you go through a gate on your left hand side and down along a concrete path next to the motorway. This isn’t the most pleasant walking that you will ever do as the noise from the motorway is almost loud enough to hurt your ears. The concrete path bears round to the right and at the end of it you are faced with a gate with a ‘Private’ sign on it. Go right through a gap in the hedge, walking over a wooden ‘bridge’ and then turn left along the inside of the field. You can see a yellow sign about a 100m further on which is next to the gate to the reserve.
The reserve is just one field and I walked round it in about 30 minutes doing my slow and quiet walking routine to see if I could spot anything. I didn’t. The field itself was of short grass and there were no orchids in sight. I was visiting at the end of April and this was way too early. I could see plenty of cowslips and many delicate white and mauve cuckooflowers but not too much else to get excited about. The cuckooflower is a pretty little flower so I spent an hour or so with my camera and macro lens getting close up and personal with a couple of nice examples of the genus. When I showed my daughter the photos when I returned she said ‘meh’ so I’m not sure how well I did there. Let me know what you think!