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KING'S FIELD - HEMPSTEAD  

Walden Countryside's newest nature reserve

King's Field is actually two fields, one either side of the Steeple Bumpstead Brook. A bit over four-acres, the reserve is often known as Bulls Bridge Meadow from the name of the farm opposite (it was once part of that farm's land). We have chosen King's Field as this is the name it was known by on the 1840s Victorian Tithe Map. At that time it was pasture but had a spell as arable land in the 20th century before reverting to grassland (now pasture) about 14 years ago.
OS map Kings Field

Kings Field is now open to visitors on foot

  • If you arrive by car you must not park on the entrance track or on the concrete bridge: these are in constant use by agricultural machinery
  • You may not enter the enclosure when the sheep are present at Kings Field
  • Bumpsted Brook (between the two fields) runs deep and fast after heavy rain. Please take care and keep your children safe.
  • You may picnic in the reserve but no camp-fires or unauthorised camping. Take all your litter home.
  • There is no toilet
  • Dogs are welcome if under firm control
  • The farm track with thick hedgerows running south (uphill) from Kings Field South is not part of the reserve and must ot be entered (it s dangerous during use by farm machinery)

 

King's Field north is a grassy meadow with many cricket-bat willow trees.

King's Field south is a lush meadow now being used as pasture by some of our sheep

Both we and the and owners want to increase the variety of wild flowers in the grassland and we are confident that traditional grazing (and hay-making) will help do this. We have been given wildflower seed from an Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserve which we are sowing at Kings Field'

The gate to Kings Field South is usually locked but there is a pedestrian access beside it, giving access to the public footpath and the permissive paths around the sheep pastures

The gate to Kings Field North is at the eastern end of the field near the car parking area. Please shut the gate after you.

 

King's Field

We want to make Kings Field more like Noakes Grove - visitor and child friendly:

  • Public access, we will be adding welcoming signs and guide leaflets at the gates.
  • The stream through the middle of the reserve is one of its most important features. We have been given a footbridge by Essex Couny Council and this will be installed at the western end of the brook for visitors and our sheep to use.
  • The stream banks are deep-sided so it is difficult to get near the stream or even see it. We plan to dig out part of the bank to make a wider stream valley with more gently sloping banks.
  • We plan to dig a pond at the west end of Kings Field South
  • We want to create a "Forest school" area where organised groups of children can enjoy the reserve and learn about its wildlife and families with young children can rest and play

We have been awarded a grant by Affinity Water towards this project and, now that lockdown has lifted a bit, are starng work

 

Copyright 2020
Organic Countryside Community Interest Company
Trading as Walden Countryside
Company number 06794848 - registered in England
VAT No: 947 3003 317

Updated 7 Sept 2020