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Local Nature Reserves

Local Nature Reserves are special places for their wildlife, quiet visitor enjoyment and recreation.

Heather in Sefton Plantation, Sherrards Park Wood

There are eight council managed local nature reserves in Welwyn Hatfield. 

The council also owns Stanborough Reed Marsh at Stanborough Park, which is managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

  • woodland ride in SpringNorthaw Great Wood

    Northaw Great Wood

    This extensive nature reserve is one of Hertfordshire's largest remaining historic wood pasture commons and comprises open bracken glades and wide rides with oak, hornbeam and birch woodland. Entrances for pedestrians are off Carbone Hill and The Ridgeway in Cuffley. The entrance to the car park is on The Ridgeway.

  • Wood anemonesSherrardspark Wood

    Sherrardspark Wood

    Sherrardspark Wood is one of Hertfordshire's largest and most important oak and hornbeam woodlands.

  • Foxgloves in new gladesMardley Heath

    Mardley Heath

    This is a large wood extending to 37 hectares, regenerating naturally following gravel extraction in the 20th century. In mediaeval times it was wood pasture common where local people grazed animals, gathered fuel and fed their pigs on acorns. There is a car park on Heath Road, an easy access trail close by and a longer perimeter trail for horse-riders and cyclists.

  • Small herd of Longhorn CattleDanesbury


    Danesbury is a historic parkland once linked to Danesbury House. It is now managed extensively using rare-breed cattle and occasional cutting. The nature reserve can be accessed from residential roads in Welwyn and by footpath from Oaklands, Potters Heath and the Codicote Road.

  • Flooding along the old river courseSinglers Marsh

    Singlers Marsh

    This wet meadow lies adjacent to the River Mimram on the northern edge of Welwyn. Managed by cattle grazing and cutting, it represents a rare habitat in Hertfordshire.

  • A hoverfly feeds on late summer knapweed flowersThe Commons

    The Commons

    This delightful area lies around the southern boundaries of the QEII Hospital and has a range of habitats including oak woodland, calcareous fen, meadows, ditches and ponds.

  • River LeaStanborough Reed Marsh

    Stanborough Reed Marsh

    This small nature reserve lies at the south end of Stanborough Park and comprises mainly reed beds, sedge marsh and wet willow woodland, all rare habitats in Hertfordshire.

  • Drifts of Bluebells at Howe DellHowe Dell

    Howe Dell

    This lovely woodland reserve in south Hatfield lies between Woods Avenue and the railway line and access is via Howe Dell or Honeysuckle Gardens.

  • The pond at Oxleys Wood in MayOxleys Wood

    Oxleys Wood

    This small woodland lies south of Deerswood Avenue and is important for its woodland plants.

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