9. Thorley Wash Nature Reserve
Theme: Habitats and wildlife
- To maintain and enhance the river's natural habitats and wildlife
Thorley Wash is a Site of Special Scientific Interest designated for its wildflowers associated with unimproved wet meadows.
It's one of a string of wetlands flanking the River Stort and Stort Navigation. These floodplain habitats provide a valuable and joined up Living Landscape for wildlife and people to thrive in, connecting Bishop's Stortford to Harlow.
Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust manage the Nature Reserve to keep it in favourable condition, as well as delivering guided events to raise awareness of the site's importance amongst local communities.
In 2012/13 funding was received from Rural Development Programme for England and Growth Area Funding, to deliver capital works on the nature reserve including:
- Installation of an access bridge to enable access for maintenance vehicles and to reinstate grazing
- Design and installation of a family trail to enable people to explore the reserve and get closer to wildlife
- Fencing of the reserve to reinstate grazing
Management and maintenance is ongoing and involves:
- Removal of willow scrub to maintain open grassland habitat
- Management of ditches to maintain open waterways
- Cattle grazing to promote vegetation diversity
- Engaging local communities and visitors through an annual programme of walks, talks and events
A volunteer group help the Trust to manage the reserve - if you are interested, visit the volunteering pages to find out more.