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Freemans Marsh

West of Hungerford are just under 40 hectares of old water meadow, rough grazing and reed-beds with alder and willow carr. The area is intersected by the River Dun and the Kennet and Avon Canal. Most of the area (Freeman’s Marsh) is managed by the Town and Manor of Hungerford, but the section to the east, Hungerford Marsh, is a BBOWT reserve with restricted access. Cattle graze most of both sites.

Throughout the year one may see Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Cetti's Warbler and Reed Bunting. In the summer Reed, Sedge and occasionally Grasshopper Warbler breed. In the winter there are Snipe and often Siskin in the alders. Water Rail are seen or heard from time to time. In the autumn it is worth checking the cattle’s feet for Yellow Wagtail running between them. The area is a stronghold for the now threatened Water Vole. Scarce visitors have included Glossy Ibis. 130 species have been recorded here.

Park beside the churchyard in the Croft. Walk through the churchyard and across the canal. Alternatively park in Cobbs farm shop on the A4 west of Hungerford and take the footpath opposite and walk generally east. Don’t forget to buy a coffee in the café!

Grid Reference: SU3268 / 3368

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