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Stort Valley Summary

Stort Valley Meadows -
Access for All

Stort Valley Meadows -
Habitat improvement

Brenthall & Barnsley Wood -
Access & Wildlife



Stort Valley Project Summary

A series of linked projects on the Town Park Marsh Local Wildlife Site (LoWS) (Town Park, Stage IV) form a long term vision for the improvement of this site. It is hoped that once complete the site will be as valuable for wildlife as the adjoining areas of the Harlow Marsh Local Nature Reserve (LNR), and that the site can also achieve LNR status and protection.

Phase 0

  • Re-coppice and pollard willows along ditches - these trees have had little maintenance for many years.
    Trees along 3 ditches completed by Kier Harlow 2008-2011. Coppicing of remaining ditch by volunteers from GreenTeam and HCV nearly complete winter 2011-12.
  • Clear debris and vegetation for water course through project area.
    Completed 2010.

Phase 1 - Stort Valley Meadow - Access for All

  • Reinstatement of footpath network
  • Reroute footpath through "orchid" meadow to avoid boggy area to be made into conservation area with open water in phase 2 with new footbridge
  • Bring paths and existing bridges to equal opportunities (DDA) standard
  • Interpretation boards
  • Picnic area with shrub tree species (originally in phase 3).

Nearing completion summer/autumn 2012.

Phase 2 - Stort Valley Meadow - wildife habitat improvents

  • Expansion reed bed by side of watercourse to increase area of this threatened priority habitat
  • Creation of area of permanent shallow open water in areas that are currently flooded 6 months of the year
  • Creation of ponds next to path on low lying marshy at eastern end of site
  • Widening of vehicle access bridge to "orchid" meadow to allow baler on site to collect arisings from annual mowing.

Work due to commence autumn 2012.


  • Creation of new wild flower meadow on an area with very limited range of species currently.

Scarifying of soil as part of phase 2. Planting by volunteers as part of sustainability part of phase 1.

Phase 4

Construction of a "Wetlands Discovery Centre" as an educational and visitor facility.

  • public viewing area
  • displays
  • dipping platform
  • kingfisher bank
  • toilets
  • base for volunteers managing the site
  • as near zero carbon in construction and use as possible.

Long term vision dependent on finding suitable location and funding for capital and ongoing costs.


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Last updated 26 August 2012

page URL: www.harlowwildlife.org.uk/hwp/svm-summ.htm