Wildlife trust triples land ownership at Frogmore Meadows

PUBLISHED: 18:30 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:09 13 March 2019

Gerald Salisbury in the Frogmore Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Gerald Salisbury in the Frogmore Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

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A wildlife trust has tripled its land ownership in Frogmore Meadows with the help of a “generous legacy”.

The Frogmore Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife TrustThe Frogmore Meadows Nature Reserve. Picture: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT) has purchased farmland adjacent to the existing Frogmore Meadows Nature Reserve, near Chorleywood, after receiving a donation in the will of Gerald Salisbury.

Mr Salisbury, who had been a long-term volunteer at the Frogmore habitat, passed away in 2015.

In recognition of his dedication in maintaining the site, HMWT has named the original reserve Gerald’s Meadow. It has been owned by HMWT since 1985 and managed using traditional techniques such as grazing and haymaking.

The new fields encompass rare water meadows and are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England.

Nature reserves manager at HMWT, Laura Baker, said: “We are hugely grateful to Gerald Salisbury for his devoted volunteering at Frogmore Meadows and we are thrilled that we are able to use his legacy to extend the nature reserve that he loved so much.”

Frogmore Meadows sits in a floodplain and can support an abundance of grasses, orchids and wildflowers.

Many plants blossom on the site in the summer, in turn supporting insects such as bees and butterflies.

Laura added: “The meadows on the reserve are a rare and precious habitat and we’re really looking forward to being able to manage this enlarged site to protect its wildlife and allow people to enjoy it.”

This comes soon after the anonymous and controversial sale of now-former HMWT reserve Broad Colney Lakes. The former quarry in London Colney is fed by the River Colne, was fished by the Barnet and District Angling Club and is designated as a nature reserve in St Albans district council’s Local Plan of 1994.

HMWT said it was sold because the habitat’s quality would not be significantly improved by using charity funds.

To launch the newly extended Frogmore habitat, HMWT are running a 10 mile charity walk from Rickmansworth to Chesham, through the Chess Valley and Frogmore Meadows, on June 15. Register for the Chess Valley Challenge at www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/chessvalleychallenge

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