Works will be starting this summer on the exciting new wetlands restoration project in Cassiobury Park Nature Reserve, to transform the area’s former watercress beds into a wildlife sanctuary complete with reeds, ponds and scrapes.
The main watercress beds ceased use in the 1970s and in the early 1980s the area was fenced off as a nature reserve, which has slowly declined.
The restoration will return the watercress bed to an excellent wetland habitat for birds, like the snipe and the green sandpiper and for insects and mammals; thus increasing the reserve’s biodiversity and providing a large and relatively accessible site for observing and learning about nature.
Works will include the removal of silt from the beds themselves, re-opening the river inlet and clearing the flow channel and exit into the river. There will be viewing screens at intervals along the edge. The project will be led by Watford Borough Council, with support from Friends of Cassiobury Park, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and Community Connection Projects CIC.
Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “This new wetland in Cassiobury Park will provide a much-needed home for wildlife and will bring back a large unused open space for everyone to view and enjoy.
The restoration will also provide educational opportunities at the reserve and will relieve flooding elsewhere in the park by restoring part of the flood plain that has been missing for some time. Projects like these help make our town a greener and more sustainable place for residents to live.”
Many of these projects would not be possible without the help and dedication of community groups and volunteers.
If you would like to get involved or for information on future projects, please contact the park management team at Cassiobury, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or the Friends of Cassiobury Park riendsofcassioburypark.org.uk