Upper Tan House at Stansbatch, Herefordshire

a garden open for the National Garden Scheme
Wildflower meadow

The wildflower meadow

The Stansbatch Brook flows through the garden, rising a mile away and joins the River Arrow in Mowley Wood to the south.

The brook is home to a rich wildlife. The native crayfish is often seen and water shrews were identified in 2005. We have had dippers and on a summer's evening a kingfisher flies past.

The wildflower meadow is to the south of the brook. Ten years ago we found small colonies of early purple and common spotted orchids. Sheep grazed up to the brook edge at the beginning of our time but now we keep them out until the meadow is cut in August.

Our regime has dramatically increased the colony of common spotted orchids and they have spread across the meadow. They are in full flower during June. The early purple orchids seem less enthusiastic to expand. We have established yellow rattle recently, that is spreading well, reducing the growth of the more vigorous grasses.

Stansbatch brook