Whitehall Meadows

Introduction

Whitehall Meadows

A small, riverside meadow on the outskirts of Canterbury which, together with nearby Bingley Island, makes up a Local Nature Reserve.

Key habitats:
Wet meadow, scrub

Ownership/management:
Canterbury City Council

Size:
7 ha

Designations:
Local Nature Reserve, Local Wildlife Site 

Facilities available at this site

  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Disabled Access
  • Interpretation Panels

About the Site

The last thing you might expect to find on the outskirts of Canterbury is an old meadow, unspoilt by development modern agriculture – but that’s exactly what Whitehall Meadow is. Such grasslands have been drained and otherwise improved all along the River Great Stour, and the habitats of wetland birds and plants lost. But at this site, grazing and other management is conserving it as it should be. The meadow floods regularly, as indicated by the damp-loving grasses, including the uncommon brown sedge. Migratory birds such as snipe and teal spend the winter here, attracted by the rough vegetation and the site’s wetness.

Look across the Great Stour from Whitehall Meadow and you will see Bingley Island. The vegetation here is taller and scrubbier. The name of this site derives from an Old English name, recorded in AD 814, binnan ea, which means ‘within a river’.

Canterbury born Victorian artist Thomas Sydney Cooper painted views of Canterbury Cathedral and the riverside landscapes along this part of the Stour.

Visiting

By Car

From the West Gate mini roundabout in Canterbury head out of the city then take first left into Linden Grove, which leads into Whitehall Road. Park at Toddler’s Cove car park.

By train

Canterbury East and West are both less than 1 mile from the site

By bike

Route 18 runs alongside the site

Transport Links to this site

  • Bike
  • Train

Whitehall Meadows Photo Gallery

Click images to view larger