Grid Reference: TG 350 127
GPS Coordinates: 52.661211, 1.4738917
Size: 1 ha (2.5 acres)
Parish: South Walsham
Owned by: BADCOG (acquired 2005)
Access Parking: Private – access by prior arrangement or during BADCOG work parties. Jary’s Meadow borders Walsham Fen to the north and is adjacent to the Panxworth-Hemblington green lane which runs north/south. Limited parking is available at the south end of the bridleway at Hemblington, entailing an enjoyable 1.5 km walk to site; parking is very restricted at the north end of the bridleway.
Underfoot: Generally good, with some wet areas to the north bordering Walsham Fen. A mown path network gives good access to most of the site.
Habitats: Mainly lowland grass meadow, scrub and mature hedge on Southern boundary.
Main Conservation Interest: Contrast between dry meadow upland and fen.
Conservation Status: None.
Management: Managed by BADCOG since 2005.
Description: Jary’s Meadow was purchased by BADCOG in 2005 from Mrs Pauline Barnett with the assistance of a grant from the National Lottery, to both of whom we are very grateful. The meadow is named after Major William Jary, a local benefactor and landowner who once lived in South Walsham Hall and died in 1920. His family had long owned and farmed a sizeable estate in the area, but the estate was probably purchased by the county council shortly after his death.
The site consists predominantly of rough grassland, with a well established hedge on top of a bank on the south side. From the bank, the ground slopes to the north where its boundary meets Walsham Fen, an area consistently wet and boggy. The western edge of the site borders Walsham Wood, a privately owned ancient woodland, and on the eastern edge is a green lane which runs from Hemblington to Panxworth.
The site offers a diverse range of habitats, from rough grass meadow, a north facing shady bank, a permanent wet area, thick shrub areas, mature trees and a well established hedge on three sides.
Management of the site commenced in December 2005, with one of the main objectives being the clearance of scrub from the neglected north facing bank, with the view to encouraging a once thriving primrose population. This was completed in early 2006, along with the planting of 60 native trees in the northeast corner of the site, with help from local primary school children. Encroaching blackthorn and brambles were cleared but present a constant problem on the site which will has to be continuously managed. Small manageable areas of rough grassland have been cut and cleared to enable the monitoring of the flora and a circular path network has been established. To restrict access from Walsham Fen to the north (a Local Nature Reserve), a gate has been installed.
Management objectives of the site include: the encouragement of a species-rich meadow, with the possibility of introducing some grasses and wildflowers; preventing the encroachment of thick scrub and brambles into the grassland areas; limited planting of native shrubs and trees in designated areas (see below) and maintaining a diverse habitat for wildlife. A circular path network is maintained to prevent visitors damaging managed areas or disturbing wildlife.
BADCOG had limited access to the site prior to 2005 resulting in limited knowledge of species previously found on the site. However, due to its proximity to Walsham Fen, we expect they both had similar fauna. There is currently an on-going study of both the fauna and flora.
We have had an active programme of planting on the meadow: 60 trees and shrubs in 2006; 2 x black popular in 2010; and 20 shrubs and seven English apple trees in 2012 (2 x Green Roland, 2 x Admiral, 1 x Vicar of Beighton, 1 x Happisburgh and 1 x Leeders perfection) .
When To Visit: The meadow has all year round interest, but spring is a good time to see the primroses.