Volunteering is the name of the game at Panshanger Park

Panshanger Park volunteers enjoying a litter pick

Panshanger Park volunteers enjoying a litter pick - Credit: The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

In her latest monthly column from Panshanger Park, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust's Jo Whitaker reports on volunteering opportunities at the site.

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

As restrictions are starting to ease, we may be enjoying our new-found freedom to go a little further afield and meet up with friends and family, who we may have only been seeing in 2D on a screen for the past few months! 

After a year of being in and out of lockdowns, Panshanger Park has seen a huge surge in popularity as a local site.

Being able to enjoy our daily exercise here and even meet in small groups when the times allowed was fantastic, it is a site to enjoyed by all.

But it is also important when visiting that we don’t impact negatively on the important range of habitats and heritage that the site is home to.

Maintaining the park as a special site for nature, history and visitors couldn’t be done without the amazing team of volunteers, who give their time to help keep on top of the endless list of tasks.

Sadly, this last year’s restrictions have meant that volunteering has been on hold but as times are looking brighter, you may well see small groups of industrious looking folk sprucing up the site, checking on the nature reserve, and ensuring that Panshanger remains a great place for people and nature!

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This month, as volunteering has kicked back off, albeit with restricted numbers, the Panshanger Park volunteers have been undertaking litter picking tasks, cutting back vegetation off paths and checking equipment ready for events.

The first guided walk of 2021, exploring the heritage of Panshanger Park

The first guided walk of 2021, exploring the heritage of Panshanger Park - Credit: The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Monitoring the species that live within Panshanger is also important as a health check for the site.

Regularly surveying the different plants and animals living here is key.

Volunteers are involved in this too, and help to undertake the monitoring of a range of species from butterflies and bats, to wetland birds and water voles.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with volunteering at Panshanger Park and if you are interested, or would like more information, then please get in touch at panshangerpark@hmwt.org

When visiting Panshanger Park please remember to adhere to local government restrictions, keep to the paths and keep dogs on leads where requested.

Being allowed to meet in groups, as well as the better weather, is a great combination for visiting local green spaces, but please do visit responsibly and take your rubbish with you.

Remember that the site has a nature reserve and fragile habitats, so please keep disturbance to a minimum.

Enjoy your spring explorations!

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.

ABOUT PANSHANGER PARK
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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