Festival of Wildlife returns to Panshanger Park this weekend

PUBLISHED: 17:58 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:06 25 July 2019

Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Josh Kubale

Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Josh Kubale

Josh Kubale

Get back to nature at Panshanger Park this weekend at the 2019 Festival of Wildlife.

A Tarmac tractor tour of Panshanger Park at the Festival of Wildlife. Picture: Charlotte HusseyA Tarmac tractor tour of Panshanger Park at the Festival of Wildlife. Picture: Charlotte Hussey

Running on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, these family-focussed, free days out are a celebration of our local wildlife and nature.

Pop along and spend the day exploring the park and discover the variety of wildlife found on your doorstep.

The festival runs from 10am to 4pm each day, and there will be a varied programme of guided walks and talks.

Walks are led by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust's knowledgeable Reserves Team as well as local experts, and cover a variety of topics from birds, trees, the river wildlife and the great Panshanger Oak, as recently featured on BBC's Countryfile.

Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Josh KubaleFestival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Josh Kubale

The programme features talks on many different subjects such as the endangered water vole, the geology of the park and the ever-popular 'Have I got poos for you' about, well, poo!

Youngsters will find plenty to do in the dedicated Children's Discovery tent, with natural crafts, activities and storytelling.

There's also a chill-out area for children - and adults - to take a break.

The River Discovery area will allow children to get up close to the invertebrates found in the chalk river.

Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Herts & Middlesex Wildlife TrustFestival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust

There will also be a bird watching station, bird ringing demonstrations, longhorn cattle enclosure and a sand pit.

Festival Explorer sheets will let children collect stamps as they explore the different areas of the festival, with the chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher.

The popular free tractor tours are back for 2019, touring the park and letting you learn about Tarmac's quarrying and nature recovery work.

Book on the day and come along early to secure your place - these tours are very popular and spaces are limited.

New for 2019 is meet the Nature Nerds. Volunteers from the Herts branch of the British Naturalists' Association and the Herts Invertebrate Project will be recording all the animals, birds, bugs and beasties seen at Panshanger Park over the weekend.

Explore what can be found at the park, bring photographs of your discoveries for identification and learn how to survey for invertebrates on short guided walks. Borrow a sweep net and see what you can find.

HMWT's resident artist, Alisdair Bright, will be on hand to create a beautiful festival wildlife drawing of your discoveries.

For adults, there will be a variety of local crafts people in the Traders' Marquee selling a range of handmade crafts, along with wood carving and wool spinning demonstrations.

You won't go hungry thanks to a variety of food stands, including wood-fired pizza, Indian street food, smoked pulled-pork burgers and delicious waffles, with vegan and vegetarian options also available.

Puddingstone Distillery will be providing a cooling G&T, and there's also the obligatory coffee and ice cream vans.

On Conservation Charity Avenue, you will find a range of local organisations working alongside HMWT to conserve and protect Hertfordshire's wildlife.

They will be offering children's activities and a chance to learn more about their work to protect species such as badgers, butterflies, bats, hedgehogs and more.

This free day out for the whole family wouldn't be possible without the continued support of the Trust's festival partner Tarmac, along with new associate sponsor Maydencroft, and the ongoing support of the Herts Natural History Society.

Entrance to the festival and all activities offered are free, but visitors can make a donation to support the Trust's work.

For more information, visit hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/festival

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