Pope's Meadow

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Green Flag Award logo

Once part of the grounds of Pope’s Manor, this small 13.7 acres of established parkland located in Binfield is a valuable countryside resource for quiet informal recreation for the local community and provides a haven for wildlife.

Facilities and key features

Pope’s Meadow:

  • holds a prestigious Green Flag Award and is designated a Local Wildlife Site
  • is intersected by Bracknell Forest Ramblers route, which enters off St Mark’s Road and waymarks guide walkers to an exit in the north-west corner
  • has a play area for toddlers, a sport and kick about area (available for junior clubs to hire), a permanent orienteering course, cycle parking and an interpretation board detailing site information and events
  • has a surfaced path providing good access from the car park to the pond, where a picnic bench is positioned to enhance enjoyment of the surroundings

History

Pope’s Meadow was officially opened to the public in 1985 for informal recreation.

The site is named after Binfield’s most famous resident, the poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744) who lived in Pope’s Manor adjacent to the site. Known for such works as ‘Pastorals’, ‘Essay on Criticism’ and ‘The Rape of the Lock’, Pope sang in the local choir and is also remembered locally for his poems on Windsor Forest and the River Lodden. Much of his work was written while living in the village. A grove of beech trees called Pope’s Wood to the south of the village and the surrounding landscape is where the poet is said to have gained a great deal of inspiration. The private grounds of Pope’s Manor are opened to the public once a year. For a list of activities please see our events webpage.

Wildlife

Pope’s Meadow is a haven for wildlife consisting of open wood pasture, pond and copse.

The pasture area is managed as a traditional hay meadow and is home to wildflowers, insects and small mammals. The large trees of the parkland (some of which are veteran) are mostly common or pedunculate oak, although there are also limes and conifers and a mixed hedge of native species. The pond is essential for supporting a variety of wildlife including, frogs, toads, damselflies and dragonflies.

The copse mainly consists of holly, oak, hawthorn, and hazel which provides good shelter for birds such as chaffinch, blackbird, thrush and robin. Shade-loving plants such as wood sorrel and bluebells can be found in the understorey and decaying wood is host to a wide variety of fungi.

Other management measures to try and encourage wildlife include the installation of stag beetle loggeries, bird boxes and hibernation places for toads called hibernacula.

Management

We have produced a management plan to guide the future development and management of the site for the next ten years. The plan is for practical use and reference of Parks and Countryside staff, contractors, volunteer groups (such as the Bracknell Conservation Volunteers), and other local people who use and enjoy the site.

Pope’s Meadow is managed as a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces (SANGs) in order to create an enjoyable natural environment for recreation, away from the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area.

Award winning

Pope's Meadow was the first site in Berkshire to receive the prestigious Green Flag Award and has now won the award every year since 2001/02. The site has been praised for its access, facilities, maintenance and nature conservation. Ongoing work at the site, including nature conservation tasks, has improved facilities and greater community involvement will continue to make sure that Pope's Meadow retains this prestigious award.

Other Green Flag Award sites include: Shepherd Meadows/Sandhurst Memorial Park in Sandhurst and Lily Hill Park in Bracknell.

How to get there

Pope’s Meadow car park is located off St Mark's Road, Binfield, Bracknell RG42 4AY. The site is on the local bus route with a bus stop situated along St Marks Road.

For directions to Pope's Meadow please visit our location map.

Get involved

To find out more about getting involved with nature conservation activities in your local area visit:

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