A beautiful meadow on the banks of the River Thames
On a warm summers day Riverside Meadows comes alive with families enjoying the beautiful setting on the banks of the River Thames in Wallingford.
This beautiful meadow running alongside the Thames is the perfect place to watch red kites swooping overhead and the unmistakable flashes of bright blue and orange of kingfishers frequently seen darting along the riverbank.
A rare and threatened habitat
The benefits of the Trust’s wildflower restoration project at Riverside Meadows can be enjoyed during the summer months when the meadows are ablaze with displays of oxeye daisy, common knapweed and bird’s-foot trefoil.
Rare lowland floodplain meadows have been restored in the large field at the southern end of Riverside Meadows. Annual hay cuts in July followed by cattle grazing July until November is an important part of the sites management to encourage wildflower growth and restore a habitat which is now threatened in Oxfordshire.
Bats at Riverside Meadows
A former World War II pillbox at Riverside Meadows has been converted into a bat hibernaculum. The partially blocked gun slots, terracotta roofing tiles and a blanket hung on the walls create perfect cracks and crevices for roosting bats. At night time keep an eye out for Serotine and Daubenton’s bats foraging over the river, whilst Pipistrelle are more likely to be seen using tree corridors created by ditches and lanes across the meadows. Why not join a local bat expert to find out about these fascinating night flyers on our Guided Bat Walk in June.
Rich in archaeology
Historical and archaeological investigations have revealed Riverside Meadows to be a significant location for settlement, communication, ritual and strategic activity for at least 3,000 years. Many of the landforms visible today are a product of historic land uses. Due to the site’s rich historical and archaeological interest the whole site has been placed on the Sites and Monuments Register.
How to get to Riverside Meadows
There is a pay and display car park across the road from Riverside meadows at The Street, Crowmarsh Gifford, OX10 8EA.
Take a walk on the wide side
Two public footpaths cross Riverside Meadows. One path follows the Towing Path south along the eastern bank of the River Thames towards Mongewell and South Stoke. Visitors can also take the footpath that passes across Riverside Meadows for about 50m leading from the Crowmarsh side of Wallingford bridge towards the earthworks of Grim’s Ditch and the Ridgeway Path.
From Riverside Meadows you can cross Wallingford Bridge and follow the Thames Path signs to Benson passing through Castle Meadows.
Riverside Meadows is subject to frequent flooding during the winter months. During flooding, please take extra care, access should be avoided.
- Summer wildflowers including magnificent displays of oxeye daisy, common knapweed, and bird’s-foot trefoil.
Picnicking beside the river in summer