Key facts



Key facts

Wildlife Rare and Threatened species Download species list
Recording methods Main habitats Management of the Heath
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Key Facts


Site name: Marshalls Heath
Site status: Local Nature Reserve (declaring authority: English Nature). Common Land
Local planning authority: St Albans District Council
Grid Reference: TL 161 150 (centre of reserve). 
OS Maps: 1:50,000 Landranger 166, 1:25,000 Pathfinder 1095, Hertfordshire Street Atlas, 1996 edition: page 87
Size: Length: 730 metres north-south. Maximum width: 110 metres east-west


Woodland & scrub: 2.7 hectares
Acid grassland: 0.4 "
Lawn, play area: 0.5 "
TOTAL: 3.6 hectares (= 8.9 acres)

Altitude: lowest point 91 metres, highest point 102 metres above Ordnance Datum. 

Geology, soil and vegetation

Underlying rocks: Pebbly clay & sand: 60% .  Flinty clay: 40% Both units overlie Upper Chalk
Soil: medium acidic. pH value: 5.0 - 5.5 (sample measures on 12th June 1975)
Vegetation: Woodland 70%
Lawn & play area: 13%
scrub & brambles: 9%
acid grass heathland: 8%
Climate: Mean temperature: 9° C (= 49°F) Annual rainfall: 720 mm (= 28 inches)


Number of species recorded so far: 1370
Nationally scarce, local or threatened species present: 48
Breakdown of scarce or threatened species:

Red Data Book category 2: 1

Nationally scarce Na: 2
Nationally scarce Nb: 19
Local: 7
RSPB Red list: 9
RSPB Amber list: 10

Scarce or threatened species definitely or possibly breeding on site:

Nationally scarce Nb: 14
Local: 5
RSPB Red list: 5
RSPB Amber list: 5


Owner: Wheathampstead Parish Council, purchased from Queens College, Oxford in 1966. 

Management: Nature reserve management agreement with Herts & Middx Wildlife Trust (HMWT) from 1972 until terminated in 1993. Rights of Way & Commons Committee chairman: Mrs Tessa Reason

Rights of access: Marshalls Heath Lane, a minor paved road, runs north-south through the middle of the site. A permissive bridleway (see picture on left) runs north-south through the eastern side of the reserve. There are no formal public footpaths, though there are many ephemeral paths across the site that change from time to time. There is permitted access for Mr Titmuss from the road across the grassland of the east part of the Heath onto Heron's farm fields, and for the occupants of the houses that adjoin the Heath further north…. 

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Updated 23 Feb 2003