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Project secures rare natural habitat in Broxbourne

PUBLISHED: 01:16 24 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:11 20 February 2013

Broxbourne Woods heather patch

Broxbourne Woods heather patch

The future of heath and grass areas in Broxbourne Woods is secured, thanks to a habitat restoration project managed by the Countryside Management Service.


The future of heath and grass areas in Broxbourne Woods is secured, thanks to a habitat restoration project managed by the Countryside Management Service.



Heathland and acid grassland habitats are now rare in lowland Britain but at Broxbourne Woods, due to the ongoing efforts of the Wood Wardens and other volunteers, two small glades with areas of heath and grasses remain. The programme will secure the future of these areas while expanding and improving them.


The work to restore the heath and grass habitat will commence this winter. The aim is to gradually remove most of the trees thereby creating a more open space and more light for the heather and grasses. To improve access for the public, kissing gates and squeezes will be installed.


A small number of cattle will be used to maintain the grass and heath habitats underneath the remaining trees. An open day inviting the public to Meet the Cows will take place shortly after the arrival of the cattle in the spring.


Cllr Richard Thake, Executive Member for Environment, said, 'These rare natural habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate. It has been estimated that 97 per cent of Hertfordshires heathland has been lost in the last 100 years. Broxbourne Woods is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and this project will ensure its survival for future generations to enjoy.'


Broxbourne and Bencroft Woods are managed by the Countryside Management Service on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council. The works have been subject to an independent environmental impact assessment and have been endorsed by Natural England, the governments nature conservation adviser. The SITA Trust has supported the project with funding from the Landfill Communities Fund.


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