Woodlands and nature reserves

Woodland and nature reserves

Our eight local Nature Reserves are special places for wildlife. You can enjoy these woodlands and nature reserves by visiting them and volunteering to help.

The Commons

At the southern boundary of the QEII Hospital. It includes oak woodland, calcareous fen, meadows, ditches and ponds.

Access by the footpaths off The Commons, Howlands and Caponfield in Welwyn Garden City.


A historic parkland with rare-breed cattle.

Access by residential roads in Welwyn and the footpath from Oaklands, Potters Heath and the Codicote Road.

Howe Dell

A woodland reserve in south Hatfield, between Woods Avenue and the railway line. Includes hornbeam, oak and beech trees and a stream.

Access by Howe Dell or Honeysuckle Gardens.

Mardley Heath

A large wood with birch trees and heathland.

There is a car park on Heath Road. 

Northaw Great Wood

Large historic wood with oak, hornbeam and birch.

Access for pedestrians off Carbone Hill and The Ridgeway in Cuffley. Car park entrance on The Ridgeway.

Oxleys Wood

Small woodland south of Deerswood Avenue. Includes oak, ash, elm, willow and poplar trees. There is also a pond.

The woodland often floods in wet weather.

There is a circular path around the wood from Deerswood Avenue in south Hatfield. This is accessible most of the year.

Sherrardspark Wood

One of Hertfordshire's largest oak and hornbeam woodlands. There is a wide range of wildlife including birds, plants, mammals and fungi.

Access from residential roads in Welwyn Garden City, including Reddings, Pentley Park and Woodland Rise. There is a small car park on the north side off Rectory Road.

A route suitable for less mobile visitors and wheelchair users starts from the car park behind Campus West, Welwyn Garden City.

Singlers Marsh

A wet meadow next to the River Mimram. There is a wide range of wildlife.

It is on the northern edge of Welwyn. Access from Fulling Mill Lane.

Stanborough Reed Marsh

A small nature reserve at the south end of Stanborough Park. With reed beds, sedge marsh and wet willow woodland.

Access from Stanborough Park. It is managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and access is restricted.