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Harlow Council and Land Trust: Partnership work to restore Parndon Lock Meadows celebrated

Lifestyle / Sat 29th Apr 2017 at 03:13pm

Parndon Lock 1

A celebration to mark a key milestone in the restoration of Parndon Lock
Meadows was held on Thursday 19 April 2017.

The ancient floodplain, which is a local wildlife site, has been
rejuvenated as part of the ongoing Stort Valley Living Landscapes
Project. The work, undertaken by Harlow Council in partnership with
landowners the Land Trust, has involved hundreds of hours of volunteer
and contractor work to restore the landscape for the benefit of
wildlife, as well as manage and maintain the grassland and wetland
areas.

The celebration event was held at the site, attended by representatives
of the Harlow Conservation Volunteers, Greenteam Volunteers, Harlow
Council, the Land Trust, contractors Hugh Pearl Ltd and SW Sewel
Landscapes and Parndon Mill. The event was held at a new bird viewing
platform, constructed as part of the project, overlooking the site.

There was an interpretation display highlighting the large number of
improvements already made to the site; these include almost 300 metres
of previously neglected hedgerow being restored using around 1,400 mixed
hedgerow trees, the historic Cat Lane being resurfaced, kissing gates
replacing the old stiles, the footbridge being replaced and a set of
steps linking Fifth Avenue to the site being installed to offer improved
access.

Summer months will see the meadows used as a grazing pasture for
longhorn cattle, with the winter period giving way to floods. A spillway
can be seen crossing the floodplain and acts as a water level control
feature for the canal lock system. During times of heavy flooding this
feature protects Parndon Mill and its lock from flooding, allowing water
to bypass via the floodplain.

As well as providing water storage and easing flood pressures, the
floodplains provide a valuable habitat for winter birds such as widgeon,
teal and snipe.

Charles Langtree, Estates Manager at the Land Trust, added: “It’s been
wonderful to help transform Parndon Lock Meadows over the past few years
and see so many people getting involved in looking after and enhancing
the site. Through our partnership with Harlow Council, the dedicated
volunteers and expert contractors, we’re sure that this fantastic site
will continue to thrive.”

Harlow Council will continue to oversee the maintenance of the site as
managing partners, and is supporting the Land Trust as it develops plans
to enhance the site as a community asset.

For more information about Parndon Lock Meadows, visit:
www.thelandtrust.org.uk/space/parndon-lock-meadows/ [1]

For more information on volunteering opportunities, visit:
www.harlow.gov.uk/volunteers [2]

ENDS

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