The Commons

This delightful area lies around the southern boundaries of the QEII Hospital and has a range of habitats including oak woodland, calcareous fen, meadows, ditches and ponds.

A hoverfly feeds on late summer knapweed flowers


Access is via footpaths off The Commons, Howlands and Caponfield in Welwyn Garden City.

Management Update

During the last ten years, Countryside Stewardship grant has helped fund a programme of hedge-laying and planting, the annual cropping of a wild bird mix to provide winter food for farmland birds such as corn buntings and yellow hammers, and the provision of fencing to create paddocks for grazing livestock.

Volunteers at North Fen

A ten-year grant-funded programme of habitat work was agreed during 2014. It is hoped to bring back grazing livestock to the reserve as a way of managing the land in a natural way to maintain flower-rich meadows. During each winter, small areas of woodland around the fen will be coppiced to regenerate the trees and bushes and to restore fen vegetation to the wetter areas. The arable field will continue to be sown in spring with Wild Bird Mix.


Much of the practical work on this nature reserve is undertaken by Commonswood Nature Watch and other local volunteers. If you have time to spare and would like to help with anything ranging from path maintenance, coppicing, hedge restoration, bird and butterfly survey, please contact us.

Burnt mound pond
Powered by GOSS iCM