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Glebe Meadow (and Old Moat nature reserve) at Arlesey
In the 11th century these meadows were part of an endowment from Waltham Abbey to the manor of Arlesey Bury (one of the houses which once stood within the moat to the south of the meadows).
The land was later passed to the estate of St. Peter's Church which was built by the monks of the Abbey about 1180. This gave the meadowstheir name: glebe lands were held by the parish as part of his benefice.
The meadows are covered with a mix of rough grasses and wildflowers such as knapweed, campions, thistles and buttercups which attract bees and other insects.
Wild flowers abound including Bee Orchids. On hot days keep an eye open for lizards on old tree trunks and Kingfishers flying about the River Hiz.
The river margin is lined by moisture-loving plants such as Common Reedmace, Fool's Water-cress and Branched Bur-reed, together with dense stands of Nettle and Comfrey which thrive on the nutrients carried in the water. Large bramble tangles provide food and shelter for many birds and insects.
The Hiz is a chalk spring fed river and tributary of the river Ivel. Chalk rivers, such as the Hiz, are of national importance for the rich wildlife they support. Kingfisher, otter and water vole, have all been recorded on the river in the recent past.
Arlesey - Glebe Meadow