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Swettenham Meadows & The Quinta

Made up of several species-rich grassland, woodland & mire communities

These two sites, situated in the heart of the Swettenham Valley near Holmes Chapel, really are one of Cheshire’s hidden gems. They comprise a mosaic of habitats including ancient woodland, a network of wildlife rich ponds, scrub and series of species rich meadows intersected by numerous wet springs and flushes adding to the diversity of the area. Together these habitats support an abundance of wildlife most notably valuable populations of 14 resident species of butterfly.

Management of the reserve is focussed around the herb rich pasture and meadows. Most of the land is steep and inaccessible to machinery and is therefore managed by means of a sympathetic grazing regime during the spring and autumn in partnership with a local farmer. Over the years this management has given rise to an abundance of wildflowers including; betony, knapweed, devils-bit scabious, birds-foot trefoil, ragged robin, cuckooflower, common spotted and heath spotted orchids.

In 2016 our reserves team undertook an ambitious restoration project on a 2.4 ha meadow at our Swettenham Meadows reserve. Green hay, which we harvested from nearby Dane-in-shaw Pastures, was strewn across the meadow in an attempt to introduce further botanical diversity. This work has been successful in diversifying the meadow with species such as yellow rattle, lesser trefoil, ribwort plantain and catsear all now abundant.

From the Swettenham Arm’s car park a network of footpaths can be accessed which accommodate a range of abilities and include a walk through Tatton Garden Society’s Lovell Quinta Arboretum.

A self-guided trail map and highlights is available to download below and right.

Nearby nature reserves

2 miles - Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Black Firs Wood
3 miles - Cheshire Wildlife Trust
4 miles - Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Swettenham, Congleton
Holmes Chapel
CW12 2LF
Map reference
SJ 804 675
Great for...
Insect spotting
ancient trees
getting away from it all
spring flowers
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
8.50 hectares

Walking information
Please keep to public footpath
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01948 820748


Factsheets and guides for your visit