A wildlife sanctuary will be built in an award-winning park as part of a wetlands restoration project.

Cassiobury Park will undergo the project in its nature reserve to transform former watercress bed back into a wetland wildlife sanctuary complete with reeds, ponds and scrapes.

Works are scheduled to start in autumn and will include removal of silt from the beds themselves, re-opening the river inlet and clearing the flow channel and exit into the river.

The project will return the watercress bed for animals including birds such as the snipe and the green sandpiper to increase the reserve’s biodiversity and provide a large site for observing and learning about nature.

Watford Observer:

The main watercress beds ceased use for the purpose in the 1960s and 1970s, the area was fenced off as a nature reserve but slowly declined. It will now form a new habitat for wildlife and a diverse landscape for people to enjoy, creating educational opportunities at the reserve and restoring part of the flood plain.

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported from the Friends of Cassiobury Park, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and the Wetland and Wildfowl Trust.

Watford Observer:

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: "This new wetland in Cassiobury Park will provide a much-needed home for wildlife and will bring back an unused open space for everyone to use and enjoy.

“Projects like these help make our town a greener and more sustainable place for residents to live.”