Port Meadow is a large stretch of grazing land that has never been ploughed and is within an easy walk of Oxford city centre, which makes it well-nigh unique. It lies on the east bank of the Thames with the railway line running along the eastern edge and Wolvercote village at the north end; the village of Binsey lies across the Thames to the west. Its main attraction from a birding point of view is when it floods in the winter. A large number of ducks over-winter on the floods and, depending on the amount of water present, at times there can be attractive mud flats which attract over-wintering and passage waders. In summer you can generally walk the full extent of the common and you can go further by crossing the river onto the Thames towpath or exploring the neighbouring Burgess Field Nature Reserve. This lies to the north-east of the Meadow and was built on an old rubbish tip; it consists of scrub land and specially planted hedgerows.

The main access point to the Meadow is from Walton Well Road, at the end of which is a car park. From the Walton Well Road car park there are a couple of paths across the Meadow, one heading west towards the river and one heading north along a part-metalled track. Taking this latter path leads north to the main flood area. The entrance gate into Burgess Field NR is at the end of this track. There is also a second access point via Aristotle Lane which enters the Meadow by the Trap Ground allotments. However, parking is limited here and at peak access times (school start and end times) vehicular access over the canal bridge is restricted by rising bollards.

Best time to visit:
Autumn and winter: floods bring in spectacular flocks of wildfowl and waders

Location

Postcode: OX2 6ED

Latitude / Longitude: 51.7717456, -1.2850855

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