Hundreds gather to celebrate Hertfordshire's wildlife at Panshanger Park festival

PUBLISHED: 16:05 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 30 July 2019

Agneta Burton, chair of Hertfordshire Natural History Society, Mike Master, chairman of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Lesley Davies, chief executive of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Sarah Beazley, High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Stuart White, director of Land & Natural Resources at Tarmac, and Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

Agneta Burton, chair of Hertfordshire Natural History Society, Mike Master, chairman of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Lesley Davies, chief executive of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Sarah Beazley, High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Stuart White, director of Land & Natural Resources at Tarmac, and Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

Frieda Rummenhohl

Despite the weekend's wet weather, the Festival of Wildlife attracted almost 2,000 people to Panshanger Park to discover and celebrate wildlife.

The Chalk Stream Discovery Zone showcased the life in our rivers at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Emma MattharsThe Chalk Stream Discovery Zone showcased the life in our rivers at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Emma Matthars

The 2019 Festival of Wildlife was held on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28 by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust in association with Hertfordshire Natural History Society and in partnership with Tarmac.

The free family-friendly festival offered walks and expert talks for children and adults, conservation demonstrations and children's activities.

There was also a chance to meet some of the residents of Hertfordshire's rivers at the Chalk Stream Discovery Zone.

Local craftspeople and food producers were also on hand for visitors to enjoy.

Bertie the Badger spread joy and excitement among the children at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlBertie the Badger spread joy and excitement among the children at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

The festival also offered the opportunity to have a close look at some of the members of Panshanger longhorn herd that was recently featured on BBC's Countryfile.

The Herts Invertebrate Project and the British Naturalists' Association organised minibeast hunts to spot and record wildlife around the festival site.

Everyone was encouraged to report their wildlife sightings across the park, and these were then sketched by local illustrator Alasdair Bright, to create a large artwork.

One family's minibeast hunt resulted in the exciting discovery of a new species for Panshanger Park.

Artist Alasdair Bright sketched wildlife highlights to create a giant artwork at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Josh KubaleArtist Alasdair Bright sketched wildlife highlights to create a giant artwork at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Josh Kubale

The hazel leaf-rolling weevil beetle, a real Hertfordshire rarity, was found by a child using a sweep net.

Lesley Davies, chief executive of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, said: "Once again, the Festival of Wildlife was a great success and we're delighted to see that so many people are passionate about wildlife.

"The beautiful artwork created by Alasdair will be a fantastic reminder of the diverse wildlife that the festival celebrates."

Panshanger Park is a former sand and gravel quarry and Tarmac, which owns the park and hosted the festival, offered visitors the chance to discover the 'Lifecycle of a Quarry' through a tractor tour.

Throughout the weekend, local artist Alasdair Bright sketched wildlife highlights to create a giant artwork at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlThroughout the weekend, local artist Alasdair Bright sketched wildlife highlights to create a giant artwork at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

The tour showed visitors how mineral extraction took place at Panshanger quarry, from the extraction process to the award-winning restoration.

It also offered the possibility to have a close look at the ongoing restoration works.

Stuart Wykes, director of land and natural resources at Tarmac, said: "It was fantastic to see so many people.

"We were really proud to show them the wide and diverse range of fauna and flora thriving at Panshanger, a reflection of the high-quality habitats that have been created and allowed to establish through our stewardship and carefully planned, award-winning restoration."

There was lots to see and do at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Emma MattharsThere was lots to see and do at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Emma Matthars

Agneta Burton, chair of Hertfordshire Natural History Society, added: "Panshanger Park provides a wonderful opportunity to see how species are responding to management and so many visitors are learning about the fantastic diversity of plants and animals at the site.

"The Festival of Wildlife is a great event to show people the history and wildlife importance of this great site."

For more on Panshanger Park, visit hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/Panshanger-park

The sandpit proved popular among the little one at the Festival of Wildlife. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlThe sandpit proved popular among the little one at the Festival of Wildlife. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

The Herts Invertebrate Project and the British Naturalists’ Association offered minibeast hunts at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Emma MattharsThe Herts Invertebrate Project and the British Naturalists’ Association offered minibeast hunts at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Emma Matthars

Local charities and conservation organisations presented their work at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlLocal charities and conservation organisations presented their work at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

Festival visitors were able to get up close with birds being ringed at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlFestival visitors were able to get up close with birds being ringed at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

A whole array of nature craft activities kept the little ones busy and entertained at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlA whole array of nature craft activities kept the little ones busy and entertained at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

Local bird ringers caught and ringed a young kingfisher at the Festival of Wildlife. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlLocal bird ringers caught and ringed a young kingfisher at the Festival of Wildlife. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

Panshanger Park’s longhorn cattle were featured on BBC Countryfile earlier in the year. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlPanshanger Park’s longhorn cattle were featured on BBC Countryfile earlier in the year. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

The Festival of Wildlife was held at Panshanger Park on July 27 and July 28, 2019. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlThe Festival of Wildlife was held at Panshanger Park on July 27 and July 28, 2019. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

Puddingstone Distillery launched a pink gin made from the flowers of the invasive Himalayan balsam at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlPuddingstone Distillery launched a pink gin made from the flowers of the invasive Himalayan balsam at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

The wet weather didn'’t dampen spirits and nearly 2,000 people flocked to Panshanger Park for the Festival of Wildlife. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlThe wet weather didn'’t dampen spirits and nearly 2,000 people flocked to Panshanger Park for the Festival of Wildlife. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

Little Evie discovers what lives in and around the festival site. Picture: Josh KubaleLittle Evie discovers what lives in and around the festival site. Picture: Josh Kubale

The festival saw the first sighting of a hazel leaf-rolling weevil in Panshanger Park. Picture: Ian CarleThe festival saw the first sighting of a hazel leaf-rolling weevil in Panshanger Park. Picture: Ian Carle

A full programme of wildlife talks and guided walks was offered on both days at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlA full programme of wildlife talks and guided walks was offered on both days at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

Volunteers at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda RummenhohlVolunteers at the Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park. Picture: Frieda Rummenhohl

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