Millbrook Mead is a one acre (0.4 hectare) Nature Reserve located between Benson and Preston Crowmarsh. The area is owned by Benson Parish Council. Benson Nature Group, formerly Benson Environment Survey Team took over management of the area which comprises a wild area, including a small pond, and part of what was formerly a small nursery.
The site is being managed in three sections. Part is Hazel coppice, planted in 2006 and is cut, in rotation, the “crop” being used for making objects such as baskets and/or for bean or pea sticks.
The remainder of the site is divided into two parts; the first is left wild and provides habitat for a range of mammal and insect species, butterflies and birds; the second is managed as a wildflower meadow. This part is managed mainly by mowing grass paths around the site to give public access while preserving the wild habitat. In late summer each year the area is cut and the arisings removed to reduce the nutrients in the soil to the benefit of the wild flowers.
Mill Brook Mead is a quiet haven for wildlife and for the people of Benson. It is the most significant, uncultivated wildlife area in close proximity to Benson village.