Meadow officially joins up with Harpenden nature reserve

Opening of Marquis Meadow

Opening of Marquis Meadow - Credit: Archant

Installation of a path and two kissing gates have marked the official opening of a meadow as part of a Harpenden nature reserve.

The work was carried out at Marquis Meadow which was bought two years ago by the town council to be included as part of Batford Springs Local Natural Reserve.

The meadow has now been officially declared part of the reserve and has increased the overall size of the site by 50 per cent, adding around half a kilometre of river bank to the reserve.

The land runs from the corner of Marquis Lane, eastwards to the bottom of Piggotshill Lane, and the new path has made the site more accessible to local residents and visitors. It has also improved access to the Lea Valley Walk with some of the funding coming from Herts county council in the form of a grant to improve Rights of Way.

Chairman of the Harpenden town council environment committee, Councillor Brian Ellis, said, “I am delighted that we have been able to extend the reserve and improve access for all onto Marquis Meadow.

“The town council along with the Batford Springs volunteers, work hard to maintain this area as a nature reserve and hope the public will find the new access enables to them to get the most from visiting the reserve. The area includes the River Lea, one of around only 200 chalk streams in the world, 85 per cent of these are found in England, so we have a special responsibility to look after it.”

Interpretation panels and benches are to be installed in the future and from next spring onwards, the town council will be running a series of events and activities in conjunction with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust for people to learn about the wildlife in the area.