What to see and do at Langley Mead
Langley Mead is free and publically accessible; available for public enjoyment, recreation and education. Dog walkers are also welcome to Langley Mead, and circular walks and dog waste bins have been provided to help responsible dog walkers enjoy their visit.
Public educational events are organised from time to time at Langley Mead, please see the Events page of this website for more information.
If you would like to attend one of these events, or would be interested in arranging a special educational event for a local school, volunteer or community group, please call the Freephone number provided on the ‘Contact Us’ page of this website, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also interested in hearing from local people who would be willing to volunteer some of their time to help the Ranger with conservation management work.
What to Keep an Eye Out for When Visiting
The wonderful thing about Langley Mead, is that the flowers, insects and other animals that can be seen change constantly through the year with the changing seasons.
Look out for wildflowers like Ragged Robin, Great Burnet, Bird’s Foot Trefoil and Yellow Rattle as you explore. Ragged Robin and Great Burnet prefer wetter areas, and Yellow Rattle is an important species that parasitises grass and keeps its growth in check; allowing other species a chance to compete and become established. In time, less common species like wild orchids may even return to Langley Mead.
Above: Keep your eye open for Yellow Rattle – a
species that controls the growth of vigorous agricultural
grasses and gives wildflowers a chance to establish.
Above: Former arable areas sown with wildflower
seed mixes, flowering for the first time in 2014.
Above: Boardwalks have been installed
in wetter areas of Langley Mead, to help
visitors to get up close and personal with
wetland habitats and their wildlife.
In Spring, keep an eye out for hedgerow birds such as Yellowhammer and Linnet. Closer to the River in Spring and Summer, you can see the beautiful iridescent blue of Banded Demoiselle Damselflies, and if you walk quietly and visit in the early morning, you may even catch a glimpse of elusive species like Kingfishers, deer or even Grass Snakes basking near ditches in the early morning sun.
Birds of prey such as Kestrel and Red Kite also use these habitats, and if you are quiet and still and keep your distance, you may even be lucky enough to glimpse a Barn Owl hunting at dusk.
Above: Red Kite - a species that often uses
the habitats around Langley Mead, and an
increasingly common sight around Berkshire
following the comeback from their decline and
near-extinction in the UK up to the mid-1900s.
Through summer, the grass will be getting tall, flowers will be blooming and then starting to set seed, and it will soon be time for the traditional hay cut. At this time, there will be an abundance of invertebrates to be seen in the meadows including colourful day-flying moths, grasshoppers and crickets; the latter providing musical accompaniment!
Above: A Burnet Moth feeding on nectar from
a Knapweed plant – this is one of the beautiful
species of day-flying moth that lives in flower-rich
grasslands like Langley Mead.