Shepherd Meadows - named after the wildlife artist David Shepherd - is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) that cover 40 hectares of wet, wildflower meadow and woodland. It straddles the River Blackwater at the point where the counties of Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey meet. Owned by Bracknell Forest Borough Council it is managed for its nature conservation importance and its recreational and landscape value.
Flora and fauna
Flower-rich meadows are now very rare and about one quarter of Berkshire’s herb-rich grassland is found at Shepherd Meadows. The meadows become a carpet of wild flowers and plants during the spring and summer months, with:
- Devil's Bit Scabious
- Birds-foot Trefoil
- St Burnet
The meadows are also rich in animal, insect and birdlife. There are over 600 insect and bird species to be found such as:
- Meadow Pipit
- Spotted Flycatcher
- Scarce Chaser Dragonfly - This is the first record in Berkshire (2012).
The River Blackwater also attracts many waterfowl and wading birds.
Located on the west side of the A321 (Marshall Road) between the A30 and Sandhurst. There is
a car park just north of the Meadows shopping centre. It can be reached on foot via entrances on the A30 (London Road) and across the railway line from Darby Green.
There are several walks around the site and the Blackwater Valley Path passes through the site and can be followed in either direction.
Angling on the River Blackwater at this site is leased to Hartley Wintney Angling Society.
Disabled access to the river is available from the Marshall Road car park.
See also the map of the Valley