Cathedral Meadows

Everyone is also encouraged to enjoy the Parish Council’s 30 acres (12 hectares) of hay and wildflower meadow on the north side of Church Lane adjacent to the English Heritage monument. The land was purchased from Norfolk County Council in January 1995 for £32,500 with the help of a generous grant from Breckland Council and a long-term loan. The meadows were formally opened at a ceremony held of 2nd June 1995 attended by about 100 guests.

By the time of opening hedgerows which had all been pulled out were re-instated by the Wensum Valley Project on exactly the same lines as those shown on the 1831 Enclosure Award Map of the parish. The Parish Council entered the new fields into a new “Countryside Stewardship Scheme” run by the Countryside Commission which involved spraying off the commercially productive grasses and re-seeding with a mix of old-fashioned conservation grasses and herbs, again with funding from the Wensum Valley Project. So the whole undertaking was very much a joint effort.

The Parish Council signed in April 1995 a Management Agreement for the “Cathedral Ruins” with English Heritage so the ruins and the meadows could then all be run together as a single countryside access scheme.

Sunrise over Cathedral Meadows

Over the years the Meadows have become known as a perfect place just to be quiet and enjoy the countryside. They are visited not just by the locals but by others from further afield who recognise the beauty of the place. The Parish Council has recently decided to encourage those who walk the meadows regularly to list all the wild flowers, birds and insects which they can find, and these species lists will then be put on the website as a public record. Look out for orchids - we now do have quite a few.

Those who walk the meadows are encouraged to take photographs of the wild flowers, birds and insects and send them to us at elmhamweb@gmail.com 

Click here to view the photo gallery and send your suggestions about the varieties of the flowers shown to elmhamweb@gmail.com