The important role of volunteer wardens at Panshanger Park in Hertfordshire
- Credit: Panshanger Park / Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Panshanger Park is 1,000 acres of countryside situated between Welwyn Garden City and Hertford. Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is working with the park's owners, Tarmac, to manage the park for both people and wildlife.
Here is the latest monthly column from Jo Whitaker, Panshanger Park People and Wildlife Officer.
Panshanger Park has been looking lovely (albeit a little dry) in the recent summer sunshine.
The dragonflies and damselflies have been out in force along with many newly fledged birds.
The longhorn cattle are lazily swishing their tails in the heat whilst visitors to the park may well be seeking out the shade.
However, the high temperatures (or indeed the low temperatures through winter!) don’t stop the all determined Panshanger Park volunteers from helping out around the site.
Panshanger is very lucky to have volunteer wardens for the site.
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Volunteer Helen has given an overview of her experience as a warden.
During the past year Panshanger Park has engaged six volunteer wardens, whom you might bump into whilst enjoying this beautiful country park and wildlife reserve.
Because of the size of the park, approximately 1,000 acres, it is impossible for the few full-time staff members to cover the whole of the park regularly so the wardens act as eyes and ears on the ground.
They work alongside Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust who manage the nature reserve, Maydencroft, the landscape management consultants for the wider park, and Tarmac, the park’s owners, to ensure the park is safe and well maintained.
Fallen trees, broken fences, littering, issues raised by the park’s users etc are reported back and dealt with.
A number of the wardens are also engaged with work parties, butterfly monitoring, reptile surveys, water vole monitoring and general park maintenance.
The wardens love to engage with park visitors so please feel free to stop and chat, ask questions, tell them where you’ve travelled from, give feedback about your park experience or just to say Hi.
They are identifiable by their green or white T-shirts and navy jackets which all bear a logo. If you are new to the park, just ask for a site map which outlines all the walking paths, cycle paths and bridleways.
Phil, another volunteer warden at Panshanger, adds: "Panshanger Park is an amazingly green space for Hertfordshire, just look at a map. I get to enjoy it, and watch it change, weekly through wardening and volunteering. My advice is to explore it slowly."
If you’d like to be involved in looking after Panshanger Park through volunteering or learning more about the site through our programme of events, then please visit panshangerpark.co.uk.
Our wardens are waiting to welcome you when you next visit the park, so look out for them!
Jo Whitaker is the Panshanger Park People and Wildlife Officer.
She works for Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and her role is funded by Tarmac.