Broxbourne Old Mill and Meadow
Come and visit today, and you’ll feel the atmosphere of this special place, and the echoes of a thousand years of history.
Whilst you take time for a relaxing drink, snack or meal at the Old Mill Retreat Café, you can also plan the rest of a perfect day.
Enjoy the sites of the river during the spring and summer with a boat ride form Lee Valley Boat Centre. Fancy abit of cycling as well? Lee Valley Canoe Cycle can help you our with bike hire and kayaks. If you're looking to have a break away in the Hertfordshire country side look not further than Lee Valley Caravan Park, Dobbs Weir for a relaxing stay close to nature.
Silvermeade is a stronghold for the highly endangered Water Vole and is one of the best places in the region for viewing this charismatic species. It’s also an excellent site for dragonflies. Its wet meadows are intersected by a network of ditches, pools and reedbeds.
Water Vole and their field signs can be seen throughout the year but spring is a particularly good time to look for them as they’re actively reasserting their territories. Look out for signs such as piles of neatly cut grass stems, piles of droppings or the tracks they create as they move along the bank.
In spring you can’t miss the delicate pink-white of Cuckooflower, so called as it flowers around the same time as the first Cuckoo is heard. The striking pink flowers of Ragged Robin can also be seen amongst the grasses and sedge. Both plants thrive in the damp meadows found here.
The ditches are home to dragonflies. The Hairy Dragonfly is one of the earliest to emerge. Look along the ditches to see them hunting for food from May onwards. The Banded Demoiselle is an impressive damselfly; the male has conspicuous dark banding on its wings.
The long grass adjacent to the water is a good place to see Grass Snake which often hunt for their prey along the watercourses. These animals are competent swimmers and regularly take to the water.
Broxbourne Old Mill and Meadows
This site is a mosaic of meadows intersected with a network of ditches and small wooded patches.
Walk through the meadows in spring and look out for the delicate flowers of Ragged Robin. The prehistoric looking Giant Horsetail forms impressive dense stands. Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail are often seen, especially around the old mill wheel and pool.
This site’s a patchwork of scrub woodland with pockets of open grassland and more mature woodland.
The scrub and woodland of Rusheymead is excellent for flocks of small birds. Bullfinch can be seen all year and in summer it’s a good spot for warblers. Sparrowhawk can often be glimpsed hunting amongst the trees.
The patches of grassland offer good feeding areas for the striking Green Woodpecker, which feed on ants and can be found throughout the year