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Photographer's Note

Broxbourne Woods National Nature Reserve is Hertfordshire's only National Nature Reserve (NNR) and also recognised as a Special Area of Conservation of European importance. The Wood is a very large area of sessile oak and hornbeam woodland at the northernmost part of its natural range.

The four woods that make up the reserve are Bencroft and Broxbourne Wood, both owned by Hertfordshire County Council; and Hoddesdonpark Wood and Wormley Wood which are both owned by the Woodland Trust. All of these woods are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as they are home to some of our scarce woodland wildlife. One of our rarest butterflies, the Purple Emperor, has found a home in Broxbourne Woods.

Bencroft Wood
This section has a history of intensive coppice mangement. Coppicing along pathways creates sunny areas for wildlife. It is a good place to see butterflies, dragonflies and if you are lucky, a sparrowhawk.

Wormley Wood - where this photo was taken
This is mostly a large block of tall mature native trees. Where possible these trees will be allowed to develop naturally with little intervention. However, parts of the wood were replanted with conifers. These are now being thinned back and removed to favour native species such as oak, birch and hornbeam.

Hoddesdonpark Wood
This is particularly famed for its display of wood anemones in the spring. Continuing the tradition of coppicing creates different light conditions and warm suuny areas that are important for wildlife and butterflies.

Broxbourne Wood
This has areas of recently planted conifer trees. The plan is to gradually remove these to bring back the native broadleaved trees. There are also some sheltered glades that are vital for wildlife. This site now includes an award winning easy access sculpture trail suitable for walkers and wheelchairs. The sculptures are all chainsaw oak carvings and include a Roman soldier, a giant acorn seat and a wild boar and its piglets.

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Additional Photos by David Rees (WelshTraveller) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 112 W: 0 N: 36] (354)
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