In 2017, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has made the decision to put the land at Broad Colney Lakes on the market for sale. This was not a decision taken lightly.
The Trust is largely funded by voluntary contributions from its members, donors and other supporters. We are obliged to ensure that these resources are used wisely and within the remit of our charitable aims. We continually assess the nature reserves under our care, both for their value for wildlife and visitor experience. As part of this assessment, we concluded that the quality of the habitat at Broad Colney Lakes would not be significantly improved by our continued involvement and as such no longer represents the best use of charity funds which could instead be used elsewhere to greater effect.
As part of the sale, we ensured that public access will be maintained by the new owners. Added to this, the site is identified as a nature reserve in the Council’s 1994 Local Plan for St Albans District, providing it with additional protection.
The Trust is aware of speculation regarding who the buyer of Broad Colney Lakes may be and what purposes may be planned for the site. In selecting the buyer, the Trust has taken into account intended future use. As part of the process of making the offer, all bidders were asked to set out what their intended use was; the selected buyer has stated that the site will continue to be used for fishing, with the woodland managed for the benefit of wildlife. The HMWT land was sold at the same time as land owned by St Albans & District Council who agreed with the selection of the proposed buyer and the planned use. The sale of Broad Colney Lakes is now complete and the Trust no longer owns the land.