Harlow’s marshes and meadows support the rich diversity of wildlife found around the town and provide a peaceful retreat for residents.
The main areas are:
Together, Marshgate Spring, Maymead Marsh and Parndon Moat Marsh make up The Stort Valley Meadows.
The three sites, linked by drainage ditches to the River Stort, show the kind of wetlands which would naturally have been found in a river valley. They provide a mosaic of habitats including woodland, wetland, reedbeds and open water, which all support different forms of wildlife.
Volunteer group Harlow Wildlife Projects finished restoring 1.3 hectares of the Stort Valley Meadows in 2018, which were covered with spoil when Harlow was constructed in the 1950s. You can read about the project on the Harlow Wildlife Projects website.
On the other side of the town located alongside a brook off Katherines way sits Hawkenbury Meadow. Many species of wild meadow flowers and marshland plants sit peacefully within neutral grassland and mature woodland.
If you are interested in helping maintain Harlow’s wildlife, you can become a volunteer for wildspaces!