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.
- 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.
- There is no public access at present (except for the corner by the gate where a public footpath starts). Walden Countryside members and friends may only visit in connection with tending the sheep or as part of a work-party.
- The entrance gate is across a concrete bridge directly opposite Bulls Bridge Farm
We want to make Kings Field more like Noakes Grove - visitor and child friendly:
- Public access, with some permissive paths, welcoming signs and guide leaflets at the gate
- The stream through the middle of the reserve is one of its most important features. We plan to create a footbridge over it 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. The digging work will also create a pool beside the stream but not create a dam hindering water flow and passage by fish.
- We want to create a "Forest school" area where organised groups of children can enjoy the reserve and learn about its wildlife
We have been awarded a grant towards this project and will start work as soon as lockdown is lifted