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Stort Valley Summary

Stort Valley Meadows -
Access for All

Stort Valley Meadows -
Habitat improvement

Wildflower Meadow Restoration

Brenthall & Barnsley Wood -
Access & Wildlife



Brenthall & Barnsley Wood -

Access & Wildlife project

Rustic bridge across eastern boundary ditch

This project has been to revamp the footpaths along the main rides to make the wood accessible to disable visitors and to give vehicle access to the site to facilitate future woodland management. Kissing gates have been installed at the main access points to prevent inappropriate use to the wood. In addition to the main ride improvements a walking route has been opened up to the rights of way network east of the site with a rustic bridge built by volunteers over the eastern boundary ditch. Habitat improvements have consisted of three woodland glades being cleared, and two small ponds dredged and opened up to the light.

Funding of up to £33,333 was obtained from the Essex County Council Community Chest. The main works are all complete, though ongoing management by volunteers continues. There some outstanding items in the area public engagement which are dependent on the continued availability of the funding.

project plan
Click on plan to enlarge (use back button to return).

Project Elements

Main contract

  • upgrade & widen surfaced footpaths on rides
  • kissing gates at pedestrian entrances
  • field gate for vehicle access
  • cut new path through plantation east of wood to connect with rights of way network
  • clear fell 3 glades
  • dredge 2 ponds


  • carved logs as entrance markers

Volunteer delivered elements

  • tree/shrub planting on glade edges & along rides
  • new rustic footbridge across eastern boundary ditch
  • design & installation of 2 interpretation boards
  • seats
  • design information leaflet

Later additions

  • hard surfacing of informal path in eastern part of wood

Time line


Application made to Essex CC £100k Community Chest - January 2010
Grant for £33k awarded - April 2010
Main contractor appointed - October 2010
Physical Work starts on site - November 2010
Main contractor works completed - December 2010
tree planting by volunteers complete - March 2011
volunteer built rustic bridge completed - November 2011

To be completed

interpretation boards
carved entrance markers
information leaflet

Outline Project Specification

Footpath specification throughout to meet/exceed Fieldfare Trust's BT Countryside for All "Urban Fringe & Managed" Accessibility Standard.

Footpaths along rides

700m of surfaced paths 2m wide
gradients 1:20 (1:12 max.), steps 10mm max.
unsealed surface of road planings
100mm layer layer of new aggreagte over earlier path material.

New footbridge

to span approx 3m wide ditch
overall length 4.2m, clear deck width 1.2m,
"countryside" style (longitudinal rails) parapets to 1m above deck
main beams of oak in the round felled in the wood with oak deck and parapets.

Tree planting

small trees (whips):

  • 100 crataegus monogyna (common English hawthorn)
  • 100 prunus spinosa (Eurpean blackthorn)
  • 100 sambucus nigra (common elder)
  • 50 acer campestre (field maple)
  • 50 cornus sanguinea (common dogwood)
  • 50 euonymus europaeus (common European spindle tree)
  • 50 rosa canina (dog rose)
  • 50 salix caprea (goat willow)
  • 50 sorbus aucuperia (rowan, mountain ash)
  • 25 malus sylvestris (crab apple)

Partners & Suppliers


Essex County Council Community Chest


Harlow Council

Main contractor

Maydencroft Rural

Other suppliers

Trees - King & Co
Oak for bridge, seats, & entrance markers
- Harlow Council


Project management
  - Colin Lincoln
Grant application & claims
  - Andrew Tomlins
Interpretation board design - Colin Lincoln

Practical volunteer tasks:
Harlow Conservation Volunteers

Harlow Council logo Essex County Council logo

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© Website design by A.G.Tomlins. This page written by Andrew Tomlins.
Last updated 22 April 2013

page URL: www.harlowwildlife.org.uk/hwp/bandbwood.htm