Thorley Wash nature reserve

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    Thorley Flood Pound
    Site of Special Scientific Interest
    Thorley Wash 9.JPG
    Channel of the River Stort before it was canalised to become the Stort Navigation[1]
    Grid referenceTL490183
    Area17.3 hectares
    Location mapMagic Map
    Water vole sculpture by Daniel Cordell[2]

    Thorley Wash or Thorley Flood Pound is a 17.3-hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Thorley, south of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire.[3][4] It was formerly a flood pound for the Stort Navigation, which was decommissioned in 2004 and converted to a more natural state. It was purchased by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust from the Environment Agency in 2011.[5][6]

    Habitats include tall wash grassland, which is now rare, marsh and waterlogged grassland. It has a wide variety of plant species, including reed sweet-grass and meadowsweet. There are flowers such as fen bedstraw and early marsh orchid. Breeding birds include snipe and water rails.[3] The site also has the endangered Desmoulin's whorl snail, which is in the Red Date Book, together with diverse dragonflies, damselflies, birds, bats, small mammals and reptiles.[5]

    There are five wooden sculptures by Daniel Cordell, commissioned by the Wildlife Trust in 2012.[2]

    The Stort Navigation forms the boundary between Hertfordshire and Essex, and the site is on the Hertfordshire bank, but access is by a bridge from the towpath on the eastern Essex side. Access is restricted to footpaths due to the dangerous deep silt on the site.


    1. ^ Thorley Wash Nature Reserve, leaflet published by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
    2. ^ a b "Thorley Wash Nature reserve". Daniel Cordell. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
    3. ^ a b "Thorley Flood Pound citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
    4. ^ "Map of Thorley Flood Pound". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
    5. ^ a b "Thorley Wash". Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
    6. ^ Lester, Ahren (28 February 2011). "Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust Secure Thorley Wash Site for Public". Bishop's Stortford Town Ward Times. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

    Coordinates: 51°50′36″N 0°09′41″E / 51.8434°N 0.1615°E / 51.8434; 0.1615