Walk 1: Glebe Meadow (and Old Moat nature reserve)

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Picture of riverside walk


A very pleasant riverside walk through meadows and the Old Moat nature reserve with plenty of riverside seats and places to picnic.

Wild flowers abound including Bee Orchids. On hot days keep an eye open for lizards on old tree trunks and Kingfishers flying about the River Hiz.

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History

In the 11th century these meadows were part of an endowment from Waltham Abbey to the manor of Arlesey Bury (one of the houses which once stood within the moat to the south of the meadows).

The land was later passed to the estate of St. Peter's Church which was built by the monks of the Abbey about 1180. This gave the meadowstheir name: glebe lands were held by the parish as part of his benefice.

Wildlife and management

The meadows are covered with a mix of rough grasses and wildflowers such as knapweed, campions, thistles and buttercups which attract bees and other insects.

The river margin is lined by moisture-loving plants such as Common Reedmace, Fool's Water-cress and Branched Bur-reed, together with dense stands of Nettle and Comfrey which thrive on the nutrients carried in the water. Large bramble tangles provide food and shelter for many birds and insects.

The Hiz is a chalk spring fed river and tributary of the river Ivel. Chalk rivers, such as the Hiz, are of national importance for the rich wildlife they support. Kingfisher, otter and water vole, have all been recorded on the river in the recent past.

The Walk - 1 mile of easy walking

Map of walk. Map copyright 2004 Phillip's, see information at base of page.Starting at Arlesey railway station, walk down Old Oak Close to the junction next to the Old Oak public house.

Turn Left to walk back over the A507 bridge crossing the railway and River Hiz.

On reaching the other side, walk back down the service road to pass back over the river via a smaller river bridge. The bridge, restored in 2002, dates back to 1566 and is unique as it has cutwaters both upstream and downstream.

Turn Right through the kissing gate into the Glebe Meadows. The Glebe Meadows were in ecclesiastical ownership from around 1065 until they were sold in 1980. They were eventually purchased for the community in 1999.

Bear to the right of the information board to walk along the riverside path (seats by the river). Follow this path to the kissing gate on the left.

Passing through this gate (cattle may be grazing in this area), bear diagonally right to a sleeper bridge and a further kissing gate.

Through this gate, head for another seat by a cattle drinker. From here, either follow the riverside fence round or head diagonally to the kissing gate in the left hand side of the meadow.

Passing through brings you into the 0ld Moat nature reserve. The nature reserve is owned by the Wildlife Trust. Purchased in 1974, it was part of the estate of the Manor of Arleseybury.

Turn Right and follow this path which, after passing bramble bushes, eventually gives views of the river and brings you to the moat. Follow the path round, keeping the moat on your right, to the end of the reserve.

Follow the path round left towards the railway - keeping to this track brings you to the kissing gate back into the Glebe Meadows.

Keeping to the railway-side path takes you to a cattle bridge over a ditch and then back to the kissing gate to leave the meadows.

Retrace your steps back over the bridge to return to the station.


If you wish to obtain the leaflet for this walk you can pick one up from local tourist information offices or download the file which is in Adobe Acrobat format.

If you wish to take a group on any of the walks and wish to have more details use our information for groups form.


Please respect the needs of wildlife and other visitors by keeping dogs on a lead and under close control. Note that cattle may be grazing the meadows.

 

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The project was undertaken by Arlesey Conservation for Nature (ACORN) as part of the Bedfordshire County Council's Parish Paths Partnership (P3)

Maps ©2004 Philip's. This product includes mapping data licenced from Ordnance Survey with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationary Office ©Crown Copyright


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