Hertfordshire’s wildlife celebrated at Panshanger Park festival

PUBLISHED: 11:32 03 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:32 03 August 2018

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

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

Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust

More than 1,200 people celebrated the wildlife of Hertfordshire and Middlesex at Panshanger Park – despite the second day of an annual festival being cancelled due to the weather.

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, in partnership with Tarmac and in association with the Hertfordshire Natural History Society, held the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park last weekend.

However, due to high winds forecast on the Sunday, the second day of the festival had to be called off for safety reasons.

The free festival offered guided walks and expert talks, as well as a whole host of conservation activities.

Visitors enjoyed birdwatching with Herts Bird Club, getting up close to the special wildlife of the beautiful River Mimram, mini-beast hunting, and children were delighted with storytelling and craft activities.

Lesley Davies, chief executive of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people at the festival – learning and being inspired about wildlife as well as enjoying their visit to the park.

“I would like to make a special mention of our wonderful volunteers who helped out, from identifying birds and bugs, to running children’s activities and welcoming visitors.”

Mineral extraction in the park near Hertford finished last year, and the focus is now on restoration work.

Tarmac, which owns the park and hosted the festival, offered visitors the rare chance to take a Lifecycle of a Quarry tractor tour.

The tour took in the operational areas and then moved on to show the outstanding restoration of past quarry sites and the array of wildlife now thriving there.

Stuart Wykes, director of land and natural resources at Tarmac, said: “We’re delighted so many people chose to come to another successful Festival of Wildlife.

“Tarmac really value the opportunity to showcase the award-winning restoration work we’re undertaking at Panshanger Park, as well as allowing people to see a working quarry up close.

“It was a shame nature had other ideas on Sunday, but we’re already looking forward to next year’s event.”

This year local conservation organisations joined arts and craft traders that visitors could talk to, and buy local produce from.

Delicious food was available in addition to beer and gin from the Trust’s partners Farr Brew and Puddingstone Distillery.

Agneta Burton, chair of Hertfordshire Natural History Society, said: “It was a real pleasure to see and talk to enthusiastic visitors about some of the plants and animals they saw on the site and hear about what they find in their gardens: a lot of genuine natural history interest!”

Panshanger Park is a historic park and garden registered Grade II* by English Heritage. Part of the estate is also a country park and nature reserve.

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