Cricklade revisited

We are very pleased to announce the return of one of our most celebrated mixtures: Cricklade North Meadow mixture.

EM11 Cricklade North Meadow mixture


North meadow lies close to the Wiltshire town of Cricklade in the upper reaches of the Thames river floodplain. The meadow has a great variety of wildflowers and is of international importance as one of the finest examples of lowland hay meadow in Europe. Its special character and diversity results from centuries of consistent management as a traditional Lammas hay meadow. The meadow also supports Britain's largest population of the snake's head fritillary Fritillaria meleagris. It is protected as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Over a period going back 35 years Emorsgate have been granted special permission by English Nature to harvest seed in a sustainable way from part of North Meadow for use in meadow and habitat creation schemes.

Cricklade stooks 1982

In our first harvest year 1982 we experimented with different traditional harvesting methods employing vintage tractors and binders.  Emorsgate then went on to develop a range of novel seed harvesting machines and associated methodology between 1983 and 1990.


Emorsgate seeds were the first to develop and pioneer a brush harvesting machine in the UK for collecting seeds from meadows and other habitats.  The brush harvester we still operate today was our most successful design as it maximises operating efficiency whilst having the lowest impact on the meadow plants and invertebrates of donor sites. Emorsgate's brush harvesting system has been widely copied both in Britain and overseas. (see also video at foot of page)

Cricklade brush harvesting 2017

The seed we have harvested from North Meadow has been used to create around 500 acres of species rich grassland elsewhere.

Cricklade North meadow mixture is particularly suitable for the creation or restoration of floodplain meadow grassland. It was used extensively by the Environment Agency in the late 1990's for grassland habitat creation around the Maidenhead and Windsor flood alleviation scheme ‘Jubilee River'.

The mix can also be used with success on a wider range of moist loamy soils.  In the late 1980's it was used to landscape areas around the new terminal at Stanstead Airport.

Some of the seeds brush harvested from North meadow have also been used by Natural England to restore and expand floodplain grassland in to farmland adjoining North meadow itself.

Posted on 10 October 2017,
Category: News