Arlesey Old Moat and Glebe Meadows
Know before you go
Closely mown grass, but uneven and tussocky in places
From Stotfold take A507 towards Henlow. Shortly after crossing railway bridge (about 250m) turn right towards train station. Road bends right sharply, under A507, at T-junction turn right onto small road, east again, parallel to main road.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch to May, June to September
About the reserve
Once associated with the ancient Manor of Arlesey Bury, an L-shaped moat is the main attraction for visitors to these two adjacent reserves. In spring, frogs, toads and newts spawn, and drifts of tadpoles can be seen swimming in search of food. Later in the year, dragonflies flit over the open water, looking for suitable areas to lay their eggs.
Along the River Hiz, where yellow flag iris unfurls its citrus blooms, banded demoiselle dart over Glebe Meadows (‘glebe’ refers to lands which were originally held by the parish priest as part of his benefice. Glebe Meadows is managed in partnership with Arlesey Town Council and Arlesey Conservation for Nature).
The reserve is rich in wildflowers, including black knapweed, cuckooflower and the insect mimicking bee orchid. The developing woodland includes ash and oak, with hawthorn, hazel and blackthorn growing below. We manage the woodland by traditional coppicing to produce dense thickets that are ideal for nesting warblers.