Wildlife festival at Panshanger Park cancelled due to coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:37 04 May 2020
This year’s Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park has been cancelled, organisers have confirmed today.
Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has sadly called off its flagship summer event amid the coronavirus crisis.
The annual Festival of Wildlife is the trust’s largest community event.
It was scheduled to take place at Panshanger Park, near Hertford, on Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26.
However, due to the current uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, the wildlife charity has taken the difficult decision to call off the 2020 event.
Josh Kubale, HMWT’s communication manager, said: “We are very sad to have to take this decision.
“Whilst we might not face the same restrictions in July that are in place at the moment, it is unlikely that mass gatherings such as the Festival of Wildlife will be allowed or encouraged.
“Our primary concern is to keep visitors, volunteers and our staff safe.”
The festival, organised in partnership with Tarmac and in association with Herts Natural History Society, has been running since 2015 and has attracted annual crowds of up to 3,000 people.
The family-friendly festival usually offers a wealth of activities such as walks and expert talks as well as children’s crafts, local craftspeople and other charities to discover.
Today’s announcement comes at a time when many charities are struggling, with events across the UK having to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
Josh Kubale added: “The Festival of Wildlife is a great way for people to see and learn about wildlife and it also raises a substantial amount of income for the Trust through donations and new memberships; in addition to contributions from our sponsors.
“Last year the festival raised over £3,500 to help protect local wildlife.”
Nature reserves manager Laura Baker said: “The income raised through our events programme, including the Festival of Wildlife, is so important to helping us to look after our nature reserves which provide a home to our precious wildlife in Hertfordshire and Middlesex.”
HMWT has had to cancel over 90 events in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including guided walks and workshops, which normally cater for over 1,500 people.
The temporary cessation of the trust’s events programme means far fewer opportunities to inspire and educate people about their local wildlife.
But HMWT is still helping people stay wild with its Wild At Home project, which aims to bring people closer to wildlife from the safety of their homes though wildlife activities, inspiration and art.
For more information about how you can take part and support this project, visit hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/wildathome
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