Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows logoRawcliffe Meadows, along with the Clifton and Rawcliffe Ings, is part of the Ouse Ings floodplain to the north of the City of York in the UK (and provide an essential part in preventing it from flooding). It was notified in 2013 as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Friends Of Rawcliffe Meadows have managed that part of the Ings since late in 1990. The site provides for a range of plant, bird, animal and insect life, some of which are rare, and limited to such disappearing landscapes. You can find how to get to us here.

Whilst the site is notified for its nationally important population of Tansy Beetles and the MG4 (Meadow Foxtail/Great Burnet) grassland, there is much else to be seen throughout the year. Natural England’s SSSI notification.

Rawcliffe Meadows is proud to be a member of the Tansy Beetle Action Group and one of the Freshwater Habitats Trust Flagship Pond sites. We are also a Buglife Urban Buzz Flagship site.freshwater-habitats


Find out more about the Friends, and the Meadows, by following the links on the right of this page. Our latest posts containing news and events are below this Welcome. We are also on Facebook.

Feel free to Sign up to our mailing list so that you don’t miss out on future happenings. We look forward to seeing you!

Rawcliffe Meadows 2013 (c) Whitfield Benson

Rawcliffe Meadows 2013 (c) Whitfield Benson

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Report on the Rawcliffe Meadows Work Party 25th May 2017

Thanks to Judi for coordinating this management of competing vegetation by the Pond and along Ings Dyke.

Masha took some excellent evening photographs of the Meadows, Tansy Beetles and some of the volunteers having a well-earned break.

Our next planned work party is Sunday July 11th from 10:30 am at New Meadow where we’ll be managing competing vegetation with the tansy at the northern end of the site. Hopefully we will have replaced the stolen tools by then!

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Report on the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows Work Party 18th May 2017 at New Meadow

Apologies to anyone who went to the Pond last night, for some reason I was at the New Meadow but Pete and Masha, along with new volunteers Ruben and Mitchell managed to find me, and we got on top of the New Meadow Tansy Beetle enclosure, and saw plenty of Tansy Beetles. Having moved house, passed the YNET accounts to the auditors, started claiming for the shed break-in. along with thinking about repairs and replacements I might calm down, once the election is over…

There were still large patches of hogweed (not the giant variety) trying to reclaim the edge of the New Meadow but the main threats to humans were the clegs and midges (we would recommend anyone sensitive to cover up and take antihistamines in advance).

I won’t be at the Pond next Thursday but Judi will, and weather dependent I will have been down and strimmed (using the one from home) to make life easier. Thursday evening 25th May from 6:30 – cut back vegetation around tansy plants near Pond and fenced-in section of Ings Dyke bank where competing (at south of site). We still have to replace stolen tools so hedge shears might be helpful.

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Tool theft from the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows April 30 2017

As well as stealing a substantial number of tools from the Clifton Without and Rawcliffe Allotments Association, the thieves involved in this also stole tools from the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows (FoRM), including a Stihl FS 250 scrub cutter serial number 162007853 and has stickers on relating to its purchase and maintenance by Harland of Green Hammerton.

It appears to have made little difference that the equipment was DotPeen’d by North Yorkshire Police in summer 2016 following the previous break-in to the FoRM shed with our name upon it. The Police crime number is 130.

The scrub cutter was an essential piece of management equipment for the care of the nationally important population of Tansy Beetles, along with general site maintenance.

The estimated cost of replacing the tools and shed fittings in material terms is £765 plus an awful lot of effort in re-fitting, insurance claim and buying replacements.

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Deep Meadows and Transparent Floods – The Story of the Ouse Ings

There is something almost magical about floodplain meadows, whether it is the evocative bubbling of a Curlew high in the sky and often out of sight, jewels such as York’s own Tansy Beetle, the endangered Necklace Ground-beetle or the stunning array of herbs
in the sward which seems to stretch for miles. ln combination these make for a fantastic resource we should treasure and protect for future generations. Those of us who love wildlife-rich places need to step up and ensure that they are not lost on our watch.

This book tells the story of the floodplain meadows along the River Ouse as it runs through the Vale of York. The Ouse lngs have a rich social history, reflecting the high economic value of these meadows to the local community, as well as a rich and diverse wildlife assemblage.

This significant piece of work sees a substantive amount of research incorporated into a very readable format, which makes available to scholars and the lay people alike, fascinating information about the floodplain meadows of the River Ouse.

This book has been published and financially supported by the Carstairs Countryside Trust, May 2017 with funds from Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows and the Floodplain Meadows Partnership. It  is a glossy 100 A4 page paperback with beautiful colour illustrations.

This book can be ordered from Ouse lngs publication offer (CCT)
c/o Autumn Cottage,
Thorne Road,

Please make cheques for £5 plus p&p £3.00 (2nd class) or £3.50 (1st class) payable to Carstairs Countryside Trust

The book is in a limited edition and the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows have a small stock available at work parties.

A leaflet on the book can be downloaded here – Ouse Ings PDF

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Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows Work Parties 2nd Quarter 2017

Month Sun Thurs Task
May 2016     Tue 9th/Wed 10th Floodplain Meadows Partnership Conference, York – visit to RM 10th
    18th Cut back vegetation around Pond + Ings Dyke bank where competing with tansy
    25th Cut back vegetation around Blue Beck banks where competing with tansy
June 2016     Wed 7th June FHT Sedge course
  11th   Cut back vegetation around New Meadow bank where competing with tansy
    22nd Cut back vegetation around Pond + Ings Dyke bank where competing with tansy
July 2016     Sun 2nd July – Insect Festival, Museum Gardens
      Monday 3rd July GoodGym balsam bash
  9th   Cut back vegetation around New Meadow bank where competing with tansy
    20th Cut back vegetation around Pond + Ings Dyke bank where competing with tansy
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Report on the Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows Work Party 9th April 2017

On an amazing Sunday morning the volunteers gathered to transfer the tansy plants growing in abundance just outside the compound at the New Meadow, we also had some potted tansy and some other plants to add to the collection.

A quick check of the plants revealed plenty of action taking place in the sunshine.

The additional plants mean that there more in the sunniest area of New Meadow. We also did a check on the plants alongside the side of Blue Beck nearest the Ings Dyke.

Many thanks to Judi, Masha, Mark and Julie, and Helen. The next session is on Thursday May 7th from 6:30 by the Pond at the south of the site. We hope to have a mix of Sundays and Thursdays so that people aren’t excluded by other needs.

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Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows Work Party Sunday 9th April 2017 from 10:30

Forget the flood debris for this winter! Yipee, there doesn’t appear to be any.

Still keeping to the higher and drier ground we’ll be around the New Meadow at the north of the site, planting some more tansy and having a look at the Tansy Beetles and clumps of tansy.

Free chocolate courtesy of Leilah Vyner of Dragon Willow – http://www.dragonwillow.co.uk/ – who collected some of the willow we coppiced around the Pond. So be there and ruin your Sunday lunch!

Next planned date after that  is THURSDAY 7th May at 18:30 – probably at the Pond.

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