It will soon be time for a woodland walk

As the days get longer and hopefully warmer we have started to look forward to our organised walks in Sherrardspark Wood. The Wood Wardens are looking forward to an exciting 2020. With all the concern over climate change we hope our walks give you the opportunity to engage with your local natural environment, whilst having the opportunity to listen and question our expert presenters.

The walks have been running for a few years now and have proven to be very popular with Welwyn Hatfield residents and visitors from beyond. All our wood wardens are enthusiastic volunteers passionate about the environment and the survival of Sherrardspark Wood as a place where nature and people can thrive together.

The walks programme is published on this website as well as in the Welwyn Hatfield Times magazine and on notices at various points in the wood. We start with wood warden and amateur geologist Nikki Edwards taking us on a fascinating trip back in time to look at 'The Rocks Beneath the Trees' on March 29th. This is a must for anyone who has an interest in the landscape and geological history of the woods.

Then in April we look at the flora with 'Cowslips and Bluebells' presented by Neale Holmes-Smith. Neale's exceptional knowledge and passion for our local environment will delight and amaze you. As the title suggests prepare for great banks of flowers, a great opportunity for your camera.

In early May Murray Brown is again set to help us with our 'Spring Bird Walk', helping you identify the songs of some of our woodland birds of which we have a great variety. You may recognise Murray from the articles he writes about Panshanger Park, so bring your binoculars along and let Murray help you to recognise our local birds.

In mid May we have a new event for the wood (wardens) a Bioblitz. This is our event to celebrate Welwyn Garden City centenary as well as being a serious piece of citizen science that you can all take part in. A bioblitz is an event where a multitude of experts on different subjects come together to sample the wood (in this case) and create a snap shot of species present at the time of the survey. We are very excited about this event and look forward to involving lots of you in hunting for birds, beetles, bats, moths, plants, lichens etc and producing scientific information for this area to work with in the future.

More details of the bioblitz will follow, but mark it in your diary on the 16th and 17th May and keep the days free so you can come along and get involved with our expert recorders. If you have an interest in getting close up to nature or perhaps are studying a biological discipline this will be a great experience for you and an opportunity to meet and talk to individuals with a wide range of knowledge and enthusiasm. All information collected will be submitted and entered into the county records.

At the end of May we will look to the heart of the wood warden activities when we walk and listen to Peter Cade and Gary Dobrin (both wood wardens) who will present 'Sherrardspark Wood Woodland Management Past, Present and Future' an entertaining and informative journey describing our practical management of the woods based on plans drawn up by Welwyn Hatfield Council and Natural England, the reasons for it and challenges we face.

In June we have a real favourite as Mary Barton 'Forages in the Wood for Food and Medicine'. Mary has great passion and knowledge about her subject; you will be amazed by her stories and description of the remedies for many ailments of which the ingredients are all around us.

There are three more walks for the second half of the season as detailed on the ‘Guided walks’ page of this website.

You can find more information about the wood wardens society; who we are, what we do, how to become involved or just information about our walks here on our website. If you are in the woods speak to one of our members - we can be recognised with orange high-vis jackets and are always pleased to chat about the woods and our work. Information boards with maps are situated at various places around the woods, helping to find your way around and enjoy our beautiful woodland.

Whether you are a regular visitor to Sherrardspark Wood or have never visited before there is plenty to see in all seasons, on a guided walk or on your own. It is a real gem on the edge of Welwyn Garden City.

But whatever you do - please remember to take away memories and leave only footprints.

 

Bug walk, 2019

Foraging in the woods, 2018