Danesbury Nature Reserve - Woodlands and nature reserves

Overview of habitat
Danesbury is a historic parkland once linked to Danesbury House and has a kind of grassland that is now rare in the county as a result of changes in farming practice, losses arising from development and management neglect. Danesbury still has a wide variety of flowering plants which support insects and birds.

Having its origins as historic parkland, Danesbury also has a number of large mature trees that are of huge value to wildlife, especially bats, owls, fungi and insects. These trees continue to be important even after they have died, fallen down and begun to decay. There is a presumption against routine pruning of dead wood unless it is perceived to be of threat to visitors.
How to access
Danesbury nature reserve is split in two halves, with limited parking available on adjacent residential roads. The reserve is accessible by foot via access points on Codicote road, North ride, Danesbury park road and Roman road.

Cattle graze the reserve between spring and autumn therefore it's advised to keep dogs on leads during this period. The reserve comprises a mix of flat and undulating paths which can be enjoyed by users of varying ability, access points and footpaths can often become muddy in wetter seasons so appropriate footwear is recommended.
Volunteer with us

The Friends of Danesbury Park is a very enthusiastic group which works on the nature reserve once a month throughout the year. They undertake a variety of tasks including care and maintenance of trees, scrub control and surveying of butterflies.

If you have time to spare and would like to help, please contact us.

How we manage the site
Danesbury is now managed extensively using rare-breed cattle and occasional cutting. The Friends of Danesbury Park have cut nettles, cleared away collapsed bushes and carefully revealed the artificial rockwork, known as 'Pulhamite', constructed to display the ferns.

Local volunteers from the Hawk and Owl Trust, working with the Friends of Danesbury, have continued to monitor our owl and kestrel nest boxes.

Each year our grazier from Maydencroft Farm, near Hitchin, brings his rare breed cattle to graze the meadows.

At all our sites, we manage them with a balanced consideration to improve both wildlife biodiversity and public amenity whilst providing a safe and attractive experience for visitors.

All of our major sites have a dedicated ecological management plan which is used to help tailor the management to suit differing landscapes and habitat types.
Find on a map
Additional information