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Working to protect and promote wildlife in Harlow.

Stort Valley Summary

Stort Valley Meadows -
Access for All

Stort Valley Meadows -
Habitat improvement

Brenthall & Barnsley Wood -
Access & Wildlife




Several projects in the Stort Valley in Harlow, although separately funded, are part of the same longer term vision - see Stort Valley summary page.

Current Projects

Stort Valley Meadows - Access for All (Phase 1)


This project is to revamp the footpath network on the Town Park Marsh Local Wildlife Site (LoWS) (Town Park, Stage IV), re-routing one section of path which gets waterlogged in winter via a new footbridge, upgrading the paths and existing bridges over ditches for disabled access, and adding a picnic area and some interpretation boards.

The Stort Valley Meadows - Access for All project has been funded through the Community Spaces programme which is being managed by Groundwork UK as an Award Partner to the Big Lottery Fund. Community Spaces is part of the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces initiative. Funding made available for the delivery phase of the project is £49,999.

For detailed information about the project see the project page.

For the latest information on progress see news page.

Stort Valley Meadows - wildlife habitat improvements (Phase 2)

open water

In this part of the project an area of reed-bed plus 3 new pools will be created adjacent to the paths improved in phase 1. An area of shallow open water will also be created in a new conservation area, and the vehicle access bridge on to one of the meadows rich in wild flowers will be widened to facilitate the proper maintenance regime of cutting and collecting necessary to prevent nutrient levels rising and consequent loss of biodiversity.

In conjunction with the Essex Biodiversity Project, funding of a further 44,000 was secured in October 2011 from Veolia (Landfill Tax funds) with 10% match funding coming from the Stansted Airport Community Trust for phase 2 of the project. It is hoped that work can proceed in Autumn 2012. More information...

Brenthall & Barnsley Wood - Access & Wildlife

woodland ride

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. More information...

Past Projects

Hospital & Risdens Wood

A project to cut a ride round the periphery of this SSSI woodland and install waymarkers with benefits for wildlife and access. Unfortunately our application to BBC Breathing Places was unsuccessful.


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Last updated 7 September 2012

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