Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Monthly Wildlife Feature with Sarah Buckingham

Our local wildlife correspondent was in today giving us the lowdown on local nature events in the county. For those who aren't familiar with previous Wildlife Features with Sarah, she is a part of Herts and Middlesex WildLife Trust which is the leading voice for wildlife conservation in Herfordshire and Middlesex.

The first topic of interest was the recent Woodland Wildlife Weekend.  This happened last week and was celebrating woodland wildlife up and down the country. Due to the weather being quite erratic this year  those going on Blue Bell and nature walks may have noticed that the Blue Bells are only just starting to grow.

   Blue Bells are also signs of ancient woodland areas, so large masses indicate where ancient  wooded areas once were. In Hertfordshire The Gobion Wood and Brookemans Park are excellent places to see wood and grassland as well as  carpets of wood anemones. 

  Not all woods have blue bells (due to soil, light and other factors) but they still can be rich in natural history. In the east and south of the County we have large amounts of Oak Hornbeam which was originally cultivated for firewood in London. Managing woodlands is now one of the main tasks for the Wildlife Trusts especially as the woodlands have no purpose today. One of the most commen practices the Trust perform is "Coppicing" which is cutting a tree down to the stump to allow more light into the surrounding area to allow the wildflowers to grow.

    For  those in the vicinity of Spellbrook you may have noticed a lot of restoration work at Thorley Wash Reserve. Currently the Wildlife Trust has been clearing a lot of the willow trees to help local wildflowers grow as the area is a place of scientific interest. Thorley Wash has also some new residential conservationists : Water Buffalos! These cow-like creatures are originally from Romania and Asia and love swampy marsh land and their grazing helps maintain the environment. They are currently the star attraction at the reserve. You can visit them on Saturday the 11th of May, Spellbrook, Nr Bishop's Stortford. You can also take part in the new brand new Sculpture Trail! 

  Sarah also mentioned some other up and coming dates: On the Bank Holiday Weekend (4th May) Stanwell common, there will be a spring walk as well as a morning walk in Hoddesdon at the Danemead Nature Reserve.

Other dates include some events for Half Term for you and the kids:

 Woodland Wildlife Bonaza : This is on the Wednesday 29 of May, Brickendon from 10.30am - 12.30pm. You can hunt for butterflies and dragon flies and collect woodland bounty to create mini-boats and woodland creatures! Suitable for children 5 -11.

A Twilight Adventure : This takes place on the same day at Hertford Heath at 7.30pm - 9.30pm. Listen out for hoots of owls and watch for bats and other creatures of the night and gather round for a nice warm drink before  going home. Suitable for children 6 -12

Evening Bird Walk : Again on the same day but in Tring. Starts at 7pm and end at 9pm. It's a guided walk at Wilstone to look for hobbies. The meeting pointing will be in the car park at Wilstone Reservoir.

Book well in advance as places are limited! Finally the best part is it's completely free! 

(The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust do welcome donations as all money goes towards maintain local wildlife as well as running projects and raising awareness.)

For more information on the past and future events and The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust go to :

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