Lemsford Springs

Lemsford springs is one of of the best kept secrets in Lemsford. It is owned and managed by Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust


Springwatch which runs for three weeks from 17 May 2015
(normally shown on BBC2 but sometimes on BBC1.)

“As well as providing special habitats and an oasis for wildlife, for many years much monitoring of specific species has been carried out at Lemsford Springs Nature Reserve. This has included periodic surveys of small mammals and in particular the presence of Water Shrew which feeds on the huge numbers of Freshwater Shrimp that thrive in the shallow spring-fed lagoons. Filming is currently taking place and a feature on the Reserve will be shown in the next series of Springwatch which runs for some three weeks from 17 May 2015. This will include a slot on the small mammals of Lemsford Springs and featuring the Water Shrew in particular. The Water shrew is one of Britain’s most difficult mammals to obtain a sight of. Also it is our only venomous mammal, having venom in its saliva that can incapacitate larger items of its prey. Other small mammal species that it is hoped will feature on the program will be Pygmy Shrew (Europe’s smallest mammal), Common Shrew, Wood Mouse, Yellow-necked Mouse, Bank Vole and Long-tailed Field Vole. Peter Oakenfull, local naturalist and former Warden of the Commons Local Nature Reserve in WGC will be featured carrying out the survey. It is not known at this stage when the Reserve’s slot will be on air, so keep viewing Springwatch if you can.

Barry Trevis, Hon Warden

Taken by Emma Fox on September 27th 2013
Taken by Brian Gleeson on September 5th 2013




Lemsford Springs is a small nature reserve on the edge of Lemsford it has a long history dating back to the Doomsday book when it was owned by the Bishop of Ely for the full history you can go the Lemsford Local History Group


Click here to view Gallery




The Trust purchased Lemsford Watercress beds (Now known as Lemsford Springs) in May 1970 at a price the district valuer set, £2500. The money was all donated, £500 by the world Wildlife Fund and Cadbury fund with the rest being private gifts. A management committee was immediately formed to look after the reserve and improve it ecologically and with regards to conservation


The area it covers is 3.7 Hectares, and is a habitat for water birds as it does not freeze in winter weather. It has a new hide from which Herons, water rail, snipe and the green sandpiper, Kingfishers, mandarin ducks and grey wagtails can be seen. The reserve also provides relaxing walks and includes the River Lea which runs by the side of the water cress beds, nesting kestrels, flowering plants.



Habitat: Former watercress beds, open shallow lagoons, stretch of River Lea, marsh, hedgerows. Nine acres. Key Birds: Spring/summer; Breeding warblers, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel. Autumn/winter; Green Sandpiper,Water Rail, Snipe, Little Egret, Siskin, occasional Jack Snipe. All Year; Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk.


Work Parties: These take place on the first Sunday of every month - 09:30 to 12:30. If interested in helping please contact warden. Contact: Barry Trevis, Warden, 11 Lemsford Village, Lemsford, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 7TN. Tel: 01707 335517




Access: Access, via key, by arrangement with voluntary warden (or Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust HQ, Tel :01727 858901 if warden not available). Open at all times, unless work parties or group visits in progress. Keep to paths. Dogs on leads. Disabled access via ramp to main hide. Facilities: Two hides, chemical toilet, paths, bridges.

Public Transport: Bus service to Valley Road, WGC or Lemsford Village. No. 365/366. Nearest railway station Welwyn Garden City.Click here for Multimap Location