Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has purchased land near Chorleywood to triple the size of Frogmore Meadows Nature Reserve.

The newly-acquired land is adjacent to the Trust’s existing Frogmore Meadows Nature Reserve and had previously been used as farmland. The enlarged nature reserve, which sits in the Chess Valley, now covers 25 acres – three times the size of the original site.

The purchase was made possible from a generous legacy left to the Trust by Gerald Salisbury, who passed away in 2015. Gerald had been a long-term volunteer warden at Frogmore Meadows and was instrumental in helping the Trust care for the meadows. As recognition of his dedication to the site, the Trust has named the original reserve ‘Gerald’s Meadow’.  

The extended nature reserve comprises rare water meadows and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Trust has been managing the original nature reserve since 1985 using traditional meadow-management techniques including grazing and haymaking.

Frogmore Meadows sits in a floodplain and the soils found there, when managed correctly, support an abundance of meadow grasses, orchids and wildflowers. In summer, Frogmore Meadows is a mass of beautiful flowers which are an important food source for many insects such as bees and butterflies.

Laura Baker, Nature Reserves Manager at the Trust, said:

“We are hugely grateful to Gerald Salisbury for his devoted volunteering at Frogmore Meadows and we are thrilled that we are able to use his legacy to extend the nature reserve that he loved so much. The meadows on the reserve are a rare and precious habitat and we’re really looking forward to being able to manage this enlarged site to protect its wildlife and allow people to enjoy it.”

To celebrate the extension of Frogmore Meadows, the Trust has launched the Chess Valley Challenge – a ten-mile sponsored walk following the river Chess and going through the nature reserve. Find out more and register your place at hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/chessvalleychallenge.