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Gobions Woodland Trust

The work of the Trust     What you can do to help     Membership     The History of Gobions Estate

Bluebells at Gobions
Bluebells in Gobions Woodland, April 28, 2002
Historic Gobions Wood is part of the land owned by the Gobions Woodland Trust, formed in 1985 to save the woodland and adjoining pasture from the danger of development.

The Trust is a registered charity (number 293797) and is run by local people. Its aim is to protect, maintain and enhance the natural environment centred on Gobions Wood for the benefit of all wildlife and the enjoyment of the public. The volunteers who make up the Trust keep a record of works done online on the Gobions Woodland Trust Working Party site.

In 1989, the Trust acquired a ten-year lease on Leach Fields, which adjoins Gobions Wood to the west. These fields contain more than one hundred species of grass and wild flowers. This lease has now been extended for a further ten years.

Gobions Wood itself is a beautiful small wood of 42 acres. Part of it is ancient woodland, enclosing the remains of the 18th century Pleasure Gardens of Gubbins house designed by Charles Bridgeman, Royal Gardener to George II.

A geological system of ‘swallow holes’, which ends at Water End, starts in the central area of the wood. At its western edge can be found a rare example of a chalk well, now a roost for Long-Eared Pipistrelle and Daubenton bats.

Leach Fields
Leach Fields with more than 100 species of grass. Looking north from Gobions Wood.
In addition to the usual mammals, Gobions Wood is home to Muntjac. More than 90 species of birds have been seen in the area, and grass snakes and common newts have also been recorded.

The tree planting is immensely rich for such a small area including Sequoia, Lawson Cypress, Coastal Redwoods, Douglas Fir, Holm Oak, Scots and Corsican Pine, Hornbeam, Ash, Grey Poplar, Yew, Beech, Larch, Oak, Hazel, Alder, Field Maple, Bird Cherry and Box. The ground flora includes two plants rare in Hertfordshire, and the spring display of bluebells is famous locally.

The area looked after by the Trust is situated next to another area called Gobions Open Space, which is maintained by the North Mymms Parish Council. A car park accessed by a track leading off south from Moffats Lane takes you to a car park for both areas.

The History of Gobions Estate

The work of the Trust

Gobions Wood and Leach Fields are designated as a Nature Conservation Area and therefore the Trust’s management decisions, based on expert advice, are firstly to protect and enhance the habitat for the wide range of plants and animals, which live there.

Much needed maintenance and improvement work is carried out by volunteers, many of whom are members of the Friends of the Trust:

  • New footbridges enable young and old to walk round the wood.
  • Ponds have been reclaimed along with major improvements to the main watercourse in the wood, including the building of weirs and dams.
  • A hedgerow has been reinstated in Leach Fields and the wood has been extended at its south-west corner by a new plantation.
  • The Trust also has a tree planting programme and each winter more than 150 native species are planted, many of which have been dedicated to the memory of local residents.
  • Other tasks include coppicing, thinning, hedge laying and path surfacing.
The trust has educational links with local schools and colleges who use the wood for geographical, historical and environmental projects and each year a butterfly survey is carried out as part of national studies. The Trust’s historical conservation work includes the re-flooding of part of the waterworks to the Bridgeman Garden.

What can you do to help?

The footbridge in Gobions
One of the bridges built by volunteers, looking north from just below the old waterworks.
By joining the Friends of Gobions Woodland Trust, you too can be part of this important project.

You will receive the Trust’s regular newsletters, which give full details of its work and activities. All the Trust’s administration is voluntary and all the subscription income is spent on conservation work.

If you wish to give practical help, work parties meet every Sunday morning please contact Iain Aitken on 01707-274494 for more details for more details. You will be very welcome even if you are unable to attend regularly or have no previous experience.

You may wish to help with the Trust’s regular surveys of wild flowers or butterflies.

Whether you become a Friend of Gobions Woodland Trust or simply take the occasional walk, please observe the Countryside Code and in particular do not take bicycles into the wood, leave litter and, most importantly, protect the wild flowers by not picking them and walking only on the paths.

Dogs are welcome but please do not encourage them to swim in the lagoons as it damages the banks and the marginal water plants.

We are happy for the public to enjoy the areas as long as respect is shown for the natural environment.

By respecting the woodland you are helping to look after our heritage.

Membership

The day to day work of the Trust depends on regular donations from Friends and the efforts of volunteers. You can be part of this important project by making a donation or by giving practical help. Please indicate for how long, one year, five years, you wish your donation to apply. Cheques should be made payable to 'Gobions Woodland Trust' and sent to:

June Redgrove,
Secretary of the Friends
59 Bluebridge Road
Brookmans Park
HATFIELD
AL9 7UW
Email the GWT

This feature was written by members of The Gobions Woodland Trust.

Trustees: Iain Aitken, Peter Bennett and Bernard Spatz


Gobions Open Space
North Mymms District Green Belt Society
The History of Gobions Estate

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