Campaigners are trying to stop Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) introducing an enclosed cattle grazing field on Chorleywood House Estate.
It has been a long-term aspiration for the management of the site to introduce cattle grazing in order to “improve overall biodiversity value”.
In June this year, a consultation was opened by TRDC to engage the public for opinions on fencing options which closed last month.
Fiona Kelly, who set up a petition, said the public space will be unusable for the public.
She said: “I live locally to this beautiful place and was lucky enough to enjoy playing in the fields and River Chess as a child, when I moved back to Chorleywood my children also enjoyed it.
“I jog and walk around the Chess Valley, take a lot of pictures and paint the landscape, I really want to protect it and my right to enjoy it.
“The proposed fencing and grazing will stop us being able to run, walk and enjoy this area freely with our families. (Unlike the arrangements on Chorleywood Common). The council have already enclosed 3 fields down to the river, the fences and gates are in situ all year round.
“Not only do they want to restrict our access, but they also want us to pay for it. I requested some information on the cost of the proposal and the amount spent already spent on fencing.
“The amount so far has totalled to £33,539.34 and no figures were available for amounts spent on troughs, signage, maintenance, consultants etc. The Council pays a farmer £1,500 a year to hire the cows, but they get a grant for it. They declined to tell me where the cows come from or what happens to them.
TRDC was contacted for comment but failed to reply at the time of going to print.