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Saffron Walden's Living Landscape Farms

This page Farmlands


Examining the Google Map of the Saffron Walden Living Landscape at a large scale makes it easy to see which farm fields are arable (the great majority), which grassland (mostly grazed by sheep or cattle when part of a farm, by horses when associated with large houses/riding schools).

Whereas most of the woodlands are identified as wildlife sites, only one field is: this seems to be a combination of very limited survey work by the conservation bodies and the fact that modern intensive farming is very effective at eliminating wildlife value from a field.

Field wildlife sites

Site & UDC details link


Size (ha)


Code & EWT web link

Ashdon Meadow




condition report

Burnt House Meadow





Ashdon Meadow is losing the flowers that caused it to be named an SSSI. See the full condition report (the summary blames culture - inappropriate cuttting/mowing

Public access farmland

Saffron Walden is,it seems, unique amongst Essex towns of its size in having no country park, local authority nature reserve or local authority supported access farmland. The only piece of access farm land (other than along public footpaths) is the small nature reserve and community smallhilding known as Noakes Grove. Contrast this with ECC's Marsh Farm.

Access land will become even more essential as even more housing is built. This house building could easily be used as a way of providing the access land: section 106 agreements could buy an appropriate piece of farmland and UDC appoint a suitable organisation to manage the land on their behalf.

What needs doing

Who could do it?
Likely cost
Survey of farmlands for wildlife value Essex Wildlife Trust (local members) or Essex Field Club nil EECOS if funding available
Inform English Nature & Essex Wildlife Trust of areas that require alteration of wildlife designations Essex Wildlife Trust, Organic Countryside nil  
Investigate option of using 106 agreements to purchase an area of farmland for public access Uttlesford District Council staff time Developer would pay for acquisition of land