A Hitchin company specialising in restoring forestry and historic landscapes, creating nature reserves and working in spectacular urban landscaping, has just completed a project for Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.

It has installed two hand-built pedestrian steel bridges, of seven metres and five metres, over small tributaries of the River Lea, built by Cotswold Decorative Ironworkers based in Warwickshire.

They’ve been put in place in the Commons, a 34-acre nature reserve managed by the council. Landscape Officer Mrs Chris James says:”The bridges at The Commons have been funded by Section 106 money arising from a nearby housing development.

“The larger bridge is a replacement for one that had to be removed because it rotted. The aim of the project has been to create a new link into the reserve, primarily for new local residents.

“They’re designed to be wide enough for pushchairs and wheelchairs with ramped accesses each side. The section 106 money amounted to £18,500 and covered the cost of fabrication and installation and some of the necessary landscaping.

“An additional £13,500 from the landscape budget was spent on ground preparation, the laying of the new access path from road to bridge and across wet ground on the other side, new gates and fencing.

The Commons was designated a local nature reserve by the council in 1998 in a partnership with Natural England.