Gowy Meadows - Andrew Walmsley
An extensive area of lowland grazing marsh covering a total area 165.8ha
Lying in the rumbling shadow of Stanlow refinery, Gowy Meadows is one of the Trust’s newer reserves and is at the heart of our Living Landscape. Covering over 400 acres (165ha) the Gowy is often where you’ll see our grazing herds of Longhorn cows and Hebridean sheep, working hard to create ideal conditions for wading birds such as lapwing and farmland songster the skylark.
The ditches criss-crossing the reserve are also home to water voles, and you may be lucky enough to hear the distinctive ‘plop’ as they drop from the bankside into the water. The reserve is particularly impressive for aquatic invertebrates including the lesser silver water beetle, and is home to more than a dozen types of both butterflies and dragonflies, with banded demoiselles a feature from late-May.
Wheatear can often appear in the fields on migration, and there's always the chance of a special spring visitor like a ring ouzel. Summer breeders include reed and sedge warblers, with their stcratchy calls rising from the ditches, and cuckoos can occasionally be heard too. When winter conditions are right, the fields can play host to small numbers of wigeon and our smallest duck, the teal, with jack snipe a rare but welcome visitor in some years.
Although seldom seen, our infra-red cameras have also recorded otters along the River Gowy, and field signs such as spraints are sometimes recorded by our staff on the reserve.
See the Gowy Meadows nature reserve Management Plan