Blandford’s Stour Meadows, a hidden gem

Blandford’s Stour Meadows is a hidden gem of a place for walkers and lovers of nature. Accessed on foot via the car park at the foot of Morrison’s or by car via the Tesco / Homebase campus at the South East of the Town where there is free parking! The last place on Earth to offer free parking?

The Meadows is used as flood plain protecting Blandford during periods of heavy rain. Bordered by the Stour and the bund walls protecting the former Hall and Woodhouse brewery (now a building site) it has been allowed to rewild.

The grass meadows are bisected by mown walkways where you can meander at your will through wild flower carpets of campion, clover and the like.

There are picnic spots, children’s play areas (not too intrusive) and benches aplenty allowing you to enjoy the space as you wish.

The short walks around the meadows are largely flat with good underfoot conditions to suit dog walkers, the elderly and the very young alike. The gem in the Meadows are the walks along the Stour. This beautiful part of the river running east from the old carriage crossing of the Town includes a Weir pool covered in lily pads and birds – when we were there we saw egrets and black headed gulls but reports of heron, duck varieties and Swan are common. There is the weir  policed by birds seeking rich pickings from the river as it flows over the weir and at this point the river flows speedily towards the west of the town until it reaches the bypass (no need to go there!).  On its way there are 2 modern footbridges, great viewing points over the river, and an old railway bridge standing in splendid isolation over the river. The council have provided many benches for those needing a rest or wishing to spend some time just observing the river.

Spend a few minutes here and you are certain to see kingfishers plying their trade up and down the banks. We saw grey wagtails and a pair of Swans with their signets as well.

What a great resource, well done to the Council, the Environment Agency and all those involved in making this such a great natural asset for the Town.