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Cymbeline Meadows is a 74 ha area of working farm land comprising a rich variety of habitats including pastures, arable fields, meadows, woodland and the meandering river Colne.
Parks and Countryside Events Guide 2020
How to get here
By road: vehicular access is via Spring Lane onto Wet Lane
By walk / cycle: There are four pedestrian entrances, two on Cymbeline Way (Avenue of Remembrance), one off of Bakers Lane following the PROW on the edge of Lexden Golf Club and one off of Bergholt Road following the PROW under the rail line subway.
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All day, every day.
Facilities and access
History, vegetation and wildlife
The site is a quiet, peaceful place to enjoy walks and picnics located in easy reach of the town centre. Formerly part of Lexden Lodge Farm managed as a commercial arable farm. The Council acquired the land in 1988.
Previously the riverside meadows were cultivated with cereal crops. In the 1990 they were sown with a mixture of wildflowers and grasses to provide pasture. Cattle now graze these meadows in the spring and summer.
The main area of woodland on the site is called Charter Wood in the North East corner of the site. It is an area of about 10 ha of mixed deciduous woodland. The wood was planted in 1992 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the granting of the Charter to the Borough by Richard I (The Lionheart).
Along the entrance drive look out for one of Colchester's most interesting archaeological features, the Lexden Dyke, a bank and ditch system built to defend Iron Age Camulodunum around 2000years ago.
The site is rich in wildlife; otter and kingfisher are found on the river, with Snipe in the wet meadows. Nightingale can be heard in the spring on the edge of Charter Wood and Noctule Bats over the arable fields in the evenings.
Hedgerows are being restored by coppicing to invigorate new growth and new sections of hedgerow are being planted. They provide important habitat for birds and mammals.
Margins of wild flowers and rough grassland are left on the arable field margins to provide refuges for insects which are important for pollination and pest control within the crops.
Guided walks, children's activities provided. Currently there are no forest schools on site or associated friends of groups.
Cymbeline Meadows action plan of works 2020-21