Natural England - Barrington Hill NNR

Barrington Hill NNR

Barrington Hill NNR comprises four meadows of unimproved species-rich neutral grassland.

Barrington Hill NNR

County: Somerset

Main habitats: Grassland

Why visit: The reserve represents a large area of species-rich unimproved neutral grassland; a habitat which is now rarely found in England.

Star species: In spring, green-winged orchid may be seen in huge swathes carpeting the meadows. Other orchids including the early purple, common twayblade and common spotted are recorded regularly.

The site is particularly notable for its abundance of rare French oat-grass, a nationally scarce plant and major constituent of the grassland.

The hedgerows (some with large oaks) contribute to the diversity of the site. Local butterflies include common blue, meadow brown, speckled wood, brimstone and orange tip.

Managing the reserve

To maintain the grassland, a late hay cut is taken from each field in July or August. The aftermath growth is then grazed with cattle and/or sheep.

Hedgerows are left to grow uncut for a few years to provide habitat for small mammals and birds. A section of hedge is laid each year.

How to get there

By train

The nearest train station is located in Tauntonexternal link.

By bus

Bus services run from Taunton along the A358 to local villages. Details can be found on the Traveline SWexternal link website.

By car

Access to the site is by minor roads from the A358. The entrance to the site is located near Barrington Hill Farm on the minor road from Bickenhall to Horton vilage.

Visiting the reserve

The best time to visit is between early May and early June. The nearest toilet and refreshment facilities are located in local villages.

Want to get involved?

Please contact Monique Hustinx, Reserve Manager on 07810 297886 if you would like to get involved in helping to manage the reserve.

See our section on volunteering with Natural England.