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Jubilee Nature Reserve (formerly Cripsey Brook Nat

Jubilee Nature Reserve (formerly Cripsey Brook Nat


Size: 1.1 hectares

Grid reference: TL 55043 02698 {phocamaps view=link|id=27|text=Map}

Owners: Essex County Council/Ongar Town Council

Site Access – Pedestrian access to the site is via a public footpath (Ongar 14) which runs through the southern site from the High Street to Rodney  Road. This has been hardened with a granite surface suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Site Description: Jubilee Nature Reserve (formerly Cripsey Brook Nature Reserve) is situated to the south west of Chipping Ongar Town Centre and occupies a thin strip of land between the Cripsey Brook and a residential development. The land has been divided in two by a fence creating a northern section and a southern section. The history and management of these two areas over the last 25 years has been quite different.

The northern section (0.49h) has a long history of grazing donkeys and ponies as a number of the local residents held garden licences issued by Essex County Council. As a result of the grazing this section has been maintained as a short grass and many wildflowers still survive. Grazing ceased in 2007.

The southern area (0.63h) was totally different and had been unmanaged for around 25 years. Consequently, bramble and scrub had taken over what was once an open field. The grazed land over the fence line clearly provides a clue as to what it would have once looked like. When work began this area had little floristically and was totally dominated by bramble. The only interest was a number of large willow coppice stools.

In October 2007 the project began as Countrycare, working in partnership with the Town Council, started to transform the redundant land into a nature reserve and public open space.

Funding for the project was secured from Essex County Council (£10,000) and the BBC Breathing Spaces (£6,500) and this has enabled a whole range of projects to be undertaken to improve the site.

The initial job was to turn back 25 years of neglect which meant clearing bramble and years of fly-tipping, but by the summer of 2008 this was largely completed.  Trees were planted and a wildflower mix was sown.  Work has also been undertaken to improve access with an upgrade of the existing footpath and a new ramp from the High Street.

Local primary schools took part in tree planting and in October 2010 joined with Ongar Town Council, Epping Forest Countrycare and Epping Forest Arts to put on a local Fete.

The site has huge potential for both public amenity as well as for its biodiversity. Situated on the edge of the town, it has a large population on its doorstep and with a mixture of trees and grassland centred on the Cripsey Brook, it will be ideal for a range of species including Kingfishers and grass snakes.

{phocadownload view=file|id=1306|text=View the current management plan for Jubilee Nature Reserve|target=s}


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