Cornmill Meadows is one of the best examples of semi-natural floodplain grassland remaining in the park. The mosaic of rivers, ditches and pools make this a fantastic place to see a variety of wildlife throughout the year. Hay meadows, woodland and a network of glades and rides can be found in the adjacent tree park.
Spring and autumn are excellent times to visit to see waders passing through the valley, with the possibility of interesting species such as Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit as well as Redshank and Common and Green Sandpiper.
Summer provides one of the best places in the region to see dragonflies, with over half the UK species found here, notably the White-legged Damselfly and Hairy Dragonfly. In late summer the woodland glades can be worth scouting on a fine evening for large numbers of Migrant Hawker Dragonfly. Follow the circular Dragonfly Discovery Trail which takes in a variety of habitats.
In winter there are magnificent views of large flocks of Wigeon and Teal. These are regularly joined by flocks of hundreds of Lapwing and Golden Plover.
A walk along the rivers and streams is interesting at any time of year. Look out for Kingfisher or dragonflies. The Banded Demoiselle is particularly striking.
No visit is complete without stopping at the Wake Hide to view the pools. Good numbers of Teal and waders can be seen in winter, whilst in summer Hobby hunt dragonflies overhead. You may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a Water Vole or hear the distinctive ‘plop’ as it dives into the water.
Car parking is available at Cornmill Meadows car park off the B194 Crooked Mile. The grass paths can get muddy in wet weather.