Getting wild at Panshanger Park with Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Enjoy a family day out at Panshanger Park

Enjoy a family day out at Panshanger Park - Credit: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Panshanger Park lies between Hertford and Welwyn Garden City and includes 1,000 acres of woodlands, grasslands, lakes and the River Mimram, a globally rare chalk river.

The park is owned by Tarmac and is managed for people and wildlife in partnership with Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and Maydencroft.

In her latest monthly column, Jo Whitaker, Panshanger Park People & Wildlife Officer, encourages people to 'get wild'.

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June this year has been made all the more exciting by the rather late arrival of spring, combined with some overdue warmth and sunshine! June is also when The Wildlife Trust’s ‘30 Days Wild’ nature challenge takes place.

The 30 Days Wild campaign encourages everyone to do something wild and engage with nature every day in June. The 30 Days Wild app is a great source of inspiration for this as it generates ‘Random acts of wildness’.

Activities don’t take long and include things such as identify a bird song, lift up a log and see what’s living underneath or, one of my personal favourites, celebrate the humble stick!

And it’s not too late to sign up for a digital pack filled with lots of ideas. Visit www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild for more.

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Panshanger Park is a great local spot to connect with nature. Stopping by the great oak and taking in the peacefulness surrounding it, watching the wildlife that calls it home and imagining what this tree has experienced over its 500 years is a great way to tune into nature.

The dragonfly trail through the reedbed on the eastern side of the park is the best place to see these.

Standing along the southern edge of Chisel Shelf you may hear the melodious skylark, the crazy whoops and whistles of the lapwings or even glimpse the exquisitely marked little ringed plover.

Along the reedbeds east of Osprey Lake you could be surrounded by delicate damselflies and darting dragonflies catching insects to eat.

The longhorn cattle have now returned to the park too, along with their playful calves. They are very docile and enjoying being back in the park but as always, please keep your dogs on a lead and maintain a safe distance from them.

There are also some events to celebrate 30 Days Wild at Panshanger Park.

Come along to Riverside Lake on Saturday, June 19 (11am-3pm) where there will be an opportunity to see what creatures live in the River Mimram as well as some family activities to set you off around the park.

You could even be inspired to join the big wild campout in your own garden (or living room!) that evening.

And as a Father’s Day treat why not spend a few hours as a family together on a volunteering session on Sunday, June 20, from 2pm to 3.30pm. For more information please go to hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/events

And if this month of wildness inspires you to be involved beyond June, then there are plenty of volunteering opportunities available at Panshanger Park. Visit panshangerpark.tarmac.com/volunteering/

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.


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