Representatives from Sherrardspark Wood Wardens’ Society were presented with the Award at the annual meeting of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council on 22 May 2017. It was given in recognition of 50 years of commitment to protect and promote the wood.
From its inception in 1966 the Society campaigned against the housing development on the east side of Sherrardspark Wood. Subsequently the Wood Wardens continued to keep a watching brief on the woods.
In the last two decades the Society has taken on a more pro-active approach towards woodland management working in conjunction with the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. The Wood Wardens carry out practical tasks, such as coppicing, tree felling and planting, control of invasive species, path maintenance, fencing, pond clearance and collecting litter. They maintain close links with local community by running guided walks for general public, schools and outside groups.
Sherrardspark Wood, with its status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), remains an important place for nature conservation and the Wood Wardens are committed to protecting this designation. Regular surveys of birds, butterflies, wild plants and deer browsing are undertaken to ascertain the condition of the wildlife habitat.
Last year the Wood Wardens gave almost 1200 days of volunteering. The results of their effort are welcomed by visitors, who often stop to find out what is happening, with some of them even ending up volunteering!