Fritillary Sunday 2017 will take place on Sunday 23rd April.
The Snake’s Head Fritillary (L. Fritillaria meleagris) grows in abundance in a meadow near the church. On one day each year this field is opened to the general public and visitors are warmly invited to walk among the beautiful flowers. The church is open for you to look around: there are lots of activities including Morris dancing and musical interludes: there is a plant stall and the chance to enjoy a cream tea or ploughman’s lunch in the village hall.
You can watch a film of the 2010 Fritillary Sunday by clicking here.
Before the last war the ‘Fritillary’ was a common sight in the river meadows around Ducklington. However the drive for food production during the war years meant the ploughing up of most river meadows and here the river was also dredged. This one field was saved from the plough and managed to survive albeit with only a few of the plants left.
About 30 years ago the field was bought by the Peel family who then lived in the village with the sole aim of conserving it as a natural meadow and of course to protect the ‘Fritillary’.
The field is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and registered with Natural England (no. 1002036). The field is let to a local farmer with the condition that it should be sympathetically and traditionally farmed. The normal programme for this is that it is left vacant from 1st of March to the 1st of July and then, when all the seeds have dropped, a crop of hay is taken. After that it can be grazed through until Christmas or a bit later if the weather is dry. It is also a condition that no fertilizers or chemicals are used.