Enjoy winter walks at Panshanger Park

Frosty cattle at Panshanger Park.

Frosty cattle at Panshanger Park. - Credit: Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust

It may be grey, it may be cold and you may feel like you’ve not left the house in months, but going outside for a walk is the best way to blow those cobwebs away and keep spirits up.

After focussing more on our local green spaces, you may well have gotten to know a very special local wildlife gem a lot better over the last year – Panshanger Park.

If not, now is a great time to discover the 1,000-acre ex-quarry parkland which includes a nature reserve and historic landscape created by Capability Brown and Humphrey Repton.

Why not make the most of winter with a walk at Panshanger Park and discover the wildlife this fantastic place has to offer?

Make sure to visit the  lakes and see if you can spot visiting wildfowl that choose the park as their winter residence.

Frosty oak trail in Panshanger Park

Frosty oak trail in Panshanger Park - Credit: Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Teal, wigeon, shoveler and gadwall all arrive here when the weather gets chilly – some from as far away as Russia.

Squirrels and jays have spent the autumn storing acorns and nuts in hidden places – which they use during winter to keep them going.

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Watch out for them as they hunt around, trying to remember where they’ve put all their snack deposits!

While many of the trees at Panshanger look like they’re dormant for the winter, look closely to see if you can see any signs of tiny buds along the branches waiting for the first glimpse of spring.

Our local green spaces have been a refuge for many of us over the last year, but they have also been under a lot of pressure with all the extra visitors.

So, while you are enjoying Panshanger Park, please do remember that it is also a home for many rare species and habitats.

Sticking to the paths, keeping dogs under control and taking litter home with you are all ways to keep the site’s wildlife happy as well as safe for all of us to enjoy.

As the new People and Wildlife Officer at Panshanger Park, my main responsibilities are to help the local community make the most of their visit and to improve the habitats in the park for wildlife.

If you are part of a local community group and would be interested in learning more about Panshanger Park and the work that goes on to manage it, then please get in touch.

With restrictions still in place, I’m very happy to arrange online talks.

If you enjoy visiting the park and would like to get involved, we offer plenty of volunteering activities.

Feel free to get in touch via panshangerpark@hmwt.org or find out more at hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/panshangerpark. 

Jo Whitaker, Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust's Panshanger Park People & Wildlife Officer.

Jo Whitaker, Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust's new Panshanger Park People & Wildlife Officer. - Credit: Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Jo Whitaker is the new Panshanger Park People and Wildlife Officer.

She works for Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and her role is funded by Tarmac.

Panshanger Park is a 1,000 acre site situated between Welwyn Garden City and Hertford. The
Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is working with the park's owners, Tarmac, and with Herts County Council to manage the park for both people and wildlife.

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