Lammas Lands, Godalming
About Godalming Lammas Lands
The Lammas Lands consists of a series of three flood meadows (covering 32.5 ha - 81 acres), lying on the northern side of the River Wey between Godalming and Farncombe.
The Lammas Lands is shown here flooded in February 2009. Normally, the water level drops again fairly rapidly. In a typical water meadow, the flooding raises the ground temperature encouraging earlier grass growth.
The site is owned and managed by Waverley Borough Council, and has been designated a Site of Nature Conservation Importance because of its high wildlife value.
Controlled conservation grazing is integral to the continued well-being of the site. The Lammas Lands support a rich invertebrate fauna and the site is also important for birds, including reed bunting and snipe. Without grazing, the grass areas would become rank eventually becoming invaded by trees, and in the process, would lose the rich assemblage of associated wildlife.
The area is also of high historic interest and contributes enormously to the visual character of Godalming. Lammas Lands are named after the old practice of taking a hay cut on, or by, Lammas Day (1 August) after which cattle would be turned out to eat the fresh flush of grass that followed the hay cut.
Best way to see the Lammas Lands
You can appreciate the most western meadow (Overgone Meadow) from the riverside walk in Godalming, which runs between the Phillips Memorial Garden and the Godalming Library on the southern side of the river. Good views can also be enjoyed from Bridge Street which runs along the eastern boundary.
The downstream meadows (Catteshall and Almshouse Meadows) are visible from the towpath along the Godalming Navigation between Godalming and Farncombe Boat House. You can access the meadows at various points around the perimeter of the site, including Catteshall Lane and the towpath.
Keeping dogs under control
If animals are grazing, please keep your dog under control. During the bird nesting season (from roughly mid-February through to the end of July), please keep your dog on a lead, as these meadows are very important breeding sites for ground nesting birds. Disturbance by dogs leads to higher levels of predation of eggs and fledglings, as well as direct damage to the nests.
Part of the Lammas Lands, behind the Fire Station, is used for the Town Bonfire in November.
Getting there - parking
You can park at any of our car parks in Godalming.
Getting there - public transport
The Lammas Lands are easily accessible from Godalming and Farncombe railway stations and local buses.
Please see Surrey County Council's Buses and Trains website pages for more information.
What is the habitat type?
Predominantly grassland, including old grazed hay meadow, damp meadow, waterlogged grassland and some improved swards. Some alder woodland and bramble scrub also exist. 108 species of flowering plant have been identified on the site, including meadow saxifrage.
- Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI)
- common land
- Area of High Archaeological Potential
- Area of Strategic Visual Importance.
Experienced volunteers with ecological site survey skills are always welcome to help monitor this site. Please contact the Ranger for more details.
A Megabash is being held to cut back rank vegetation from the Hell Ditch in Overgone Meadow on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November, from 10am - 4pm, as part of a plan to improve the biodiversity of this site. Park in Chalk Road or at The Burys car park (free on Sunday), or travel by train.
The site is just an 8 minutes walk from Godalming Station (walk down Vicarage Walk to the Phillips Memorial Cloister, turn left into Borough Road, turn right at the Charterhouse Hooden pub, and follow Chalk Road under the railway bridge, past the WWII gun emplacement.
Dave Olliver (Tel: 01483 423081)
Please note that phone calls may be recorded for training or monitoring purposes.
Page owner: Nick Baxter. Last updated: 01/02/2013 14:47