Gadespring is the site of a former watercress farm located in the Boxmoor and Chaulden area of Hemel Hempstead. The four acre cress beds site is situated on the south side of Chaulden Meadow, between Camelot Rugby Club’s pitches and the Grand Union canal (which runs parallel with the site) and is adjacent to Old Fishery Lane, which runs off Chaulden Lane and Northridge Way.
Acquired by the Box Moor Trust in 2011, the four acre site will continue to be managed sympathetically for the benefit of wildlife and visitors with the goal of creating a new local nature reserve for Hemel Hempstead.
Connecting with nature
We host a number of events at the site for the local community. As well as a bird hide, we now have a dipping platform for children to catch tadpoles and other pond life. Our objective is simply to provide children and adults the opportunity to connect with nature and to appreciate what we have on our doorstep.
In April 2018 pupils from Chaulden Infants and Chaulden Junior Schools spent valuable time at Gadespring where they were treated to a canal boat ride and were taught about the various insects, birds and other wildlife that are found at Gadespring. For some, it was the first time they had ever seen a frog or tadpole, and so it was a very exciting and fascinating day for them!
It is important to note that Gadespring is still being developed and due to health and safety considerations will only be available for access (other than to wildlife monitors and work parties) at organised events and at times when there is a weekend volunteer warden on duty.
The Trust has started operating open days on the last Sunday of each month when members of the general public can visit the site and guided tours are available, free of any charge.
The Trust is very interested for anyone who has family backgrounds associated with Gadespring to come to one of the open days or to contact us so that we can learn more about the history of the site. You can reach us at: [email protected]