is a superb remnant of unimproved
grassland and fen. It lies about two miles south of the village of
Ceres and covers 12.5 hectares on the north-facing slope of the central
"rigging of Fife".
out for the beautiful globe flower -
Trollius europaeus which in
east Fife is only found at Fleecefaulds Meadow
to the Reserve
Find the public car park in the centre of Ceres village and with the
entrance to the car park on your left
take the small unclassified road that leaves Ceres in a southerly
direction for Largo. After about two miles the road
climbs a steep hill curving to the right.
the farm track on your right
and a little further on (if you reach the main entrance to Teasses
House on your left you have gone too far) look out for a track amongst
the trees leading to a gate and a Scottish Wildlife Trust
is room to park beyond the
gate. A further
gate leads into the Meadow itself. Please shut
all gates behind you as there may be sheep and cattle grazing in the
are no footpaths in the Meadow
ground is in places quite steep and rough. The lower parts of the
reserve can be quite damp and boggy, so suitable footwear is advised.
OUT a copy of this Web page
and take it
with you when you visit the reserve.
The whole hillside
was once part of a coral reef which
traced for several miles towards the west. These limestone
deposits were worked in the eighteenth and early nineteenth
centuries, and the multitude of base-rich seepages which
emerge across the slope has given rise to a great diversity of plant
communities including both dry and flushed limestone
grassland, calcareous heath, rich fen and lowland scrub.
160 plant species have been recorded so far. Fleecefaulds contains the
sole surviving colony in east Fife of the beautiful globe flower - Trollius
Many woodland-edge bird species, among them warblers and finches, nest
in the scrub or on the ground and many butterflies are to be found,
including tortoiseshells, common blues, red admirals and painted
ladies. A male orange-tip has also been recorded. But much remains to
The early history
of Fleecefaulds has yet to be fully
researched. It is thought that some form of building has existed on the
of the present steading since the late seventeenth century, and
the very name suggests that it was originally a kind of
sheepwalk with appropriate farming systems associated with it.
More recently it
was part of the Teasses estate and was
by Mark Black, who with his brother Timothy is one of the owners of
Teasses. In 1992 some peripheral parts of the estate were sold, and the
small farm of Fleecefaulds was split: the meadow on the lower ground,
consisting of a Site of special Scientific Interest of 30 acres and two
small outlying areas were bought by Commander Frank Spragge (seen in
the picture in "his" meadow) at the end of that year. In 1999
Fleecefaulds Meadow was gifted by Commander Spragge to the Scottish
For at least the
last 20 years this has consisted only
grazing by cattle, which has not been enough to prevent gradual
encroachment by coarse grasses and scrub, now slowly smothering the
botanical survey work has been done in the past, a thorough
base-line survey was carried out in the 1994 summer
season against which the effectiveness of all future management
can be measured. Secondly, a careful grazing regime by cattle and sheep
has been instituted. But it will take several years to get the levels
just right. A generous grant from Scottish
Natural Heritage enabled Commander Spragge to fence the whole meadow.
And thirdly scrub control must take place.
While a certain
amount of growth provides good bird and
insect habitat, there is presently too much, and most of the gorse and
some of the hawthorn and briar will be cut back,
again over a period of years, to allow optimum redevelopment
of the grassland. Although the botanical interest must take
precedence, management for birds and invertebrates must be built in
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