Explore your floodplain history

Researching the history of your floodplain meadow is a great way to find out more about rural communities in the past. It can also help to shape future plans for land management.

There are quite a number of meadow enthusiasts who have investigated the archives to find out more about floodplain meadows near to them. In many cases this has revealed not just how old their meadows actually are (many date back to the Domesday Book and in some cases are even older than that), but also the human stories that helped to shape them. Delving into the history shows us the importance we placed on these meadows in the past through the amount of effort that was undertaken to sustain them. Without a consistent pattern of management, we would not have the wildflower rich sites that we have now.

If you have investigated the history of your meadow and would like to share it, or summarise it for others to see, please let us know. We would be very happy to have it on the website. Additionally, we are working with Fjordr to develop a method for local groups and individuals to use easily accessible digital maps to help investigate local historic floodplain landuse, and to interpret that information.


If you would like to join us for a community project learning how to explore floodplain landuse history, get in touch as we are thinking about developing a project based around this idea. If you want to explore your floodplainlanduse history further, in any case, you can follow the links below:

Domesday Data:

Open Domesday is available at https://opendomesday.org/ and will give location and a translation of the Domesday entry for a specific place if it is recorded in Domesday.

Tithe Maps:

Tithe maps links are available from https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/tithes/ and the maps and apportionments can be viewed via https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/tithe/ for a subscription.

For those in the West (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, Devon, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, tithe maps are available at https://www.kypwest.org.uk/.

Tithe maps and apportionments can also be viewed at local Heritage Records Offices.

OS Mapping:

View early editions of the OS 25 inch maps at the National Library of Scotland.