Reserves and honeypots
The Meads, Wheathampsead
A large area in the heart of Wheathampstead owned and managed by Wheathampstead Parish Council, through which the River Lea flows. Some areas are managed primarily as wildlife habitat, whilst others are managed as a recreation area for public use. There is also a newly restored community orchard. Litter can sometimes be a problem here – please make sure you take it home with you! Parking is available in the public car park on East Lane.
Batford Springs Nature Reserve, Harpenden
Nature reserve with a variety of habitats, including the River Lea itself, and associated reedbeds, wet woodland and meados. A system of chalk streams are feb by boreholes which have been drilled into the chalk aquifer. These are relicts of the watercress farm which historically used the area for commercial growing of watercress. The area is maintained by the Batford Springs Volunteers. For more information see their website.
Lemsford Springs Nature Reserve, Lemsford
Lemsford Springs is a small nature reserve managed by Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust. It comprises an old watercress bed which is a valuable habitat - particularly for waterbirds, as it does not freeze in cold winter weather. Water rail, snipe, and green sandpiper may be seen from the hide. These birds feed on the shrimp and other invertebrates which are abundant in the freshwater lagoons. The lagoons also support fifty species of water snail.
You can walk the entire length of the River Lea from its source to its confluence with the River Thames. For more information see the website.