Hinksey Meadow

Annual snake's head fritillary count in Hinksey Meadow

Nina Urai

The results are in for the yearly count of the snake's head fritillary in Hinksey Meadow.

Our volunteers recorded 215 flowers and 399 vegetative plants. Vegetative plants are part of the fritillary life cycle and these develop for 3-8 years, increasing in leaf number. In 2021 we were pleased to report record numbers of 376, (up from 289 in 2019) and vegetative plants 363 (up from 134 in 2019). The count in 2023 recorded 307 flowers and 351 vegetative plants. The fritillary flowers between mid-April and early May. 

We've looked after Hinksey Meadow since 1997. This traditional floodplain meadow lies between the Seacourt Stream and the Bulstake Stream and regularly floods in both winter and summer. It was probably a hay meadow for much of the last thousand years and is now managed traditionally with a hay cut each July, followed by cattle grazing. The meadow is species-rich, especially in flowers such as the snake’s head fritillary.