Heartwood Forest Summer Festival

After a week of stressful moving out of halls of residence, I am now settled at home for the summer. On Saturday I volunteered at the Heartwood Forest Summer Festival, an event held at a Woodland Trust site near where I live. We had fantastic weather all day and many hundreds of visitors – it was a great success!

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Making a masterpiece with natural materials
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Visitors enjoying a willow weaving activity
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Some of the farm animals on show
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Dissecting owl pellets to discover which rodents the owl had eaten
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One of the impressive entrants to the Great Heartwood Bake Off
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The queen honeybee specimen was a favourite among the colouring in enthusiasts
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The colouring in wasn’t just for the kids!

To see more of my photos from the festival, please read my post on the Heartwood Forest blog.

Battle for Bluebells!

As I was home for the Easter holiday, I decided to look into some volunteering work in my local area. A Google search led me to Heartwood Forest, a Woodland Trust site seven miles from my house. There’s currently a project running, encouraging visitors to pledge to protect the bluebells, as many patches in Langley Wood have been destroyed as a result of trampling underfoot.

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Previously agricultural land, Heartwood Forest has been transformed into a beautiful area of ancient woodland. Five hundred thousand trees have been planted, and a community orchard full of fruit trees is in progress. Children are encouraged to use a special area for playing and building dens, so as not to trample the bluebells and other flora before they have a chance to bloom.

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Next week, I’m returning to Heartwood Forest to lend a hand in spreading the message about protecting our bluebells. The site is the largest new native forest in England (St Albans City and District Council, 2014), so it’s very important that all visitors to the forest – families, horse riders or dog walkers – understand the threat to our bluebells.

References:

  • St Albans City and District Council (2014) Heartwood Forest. Available at: http://www.enjoystalbans.com/things-to-do/enjoy-the-outdoors/detail/29936/heartwood-forest-outdoors (Accessed: 27 march 2016)
  • Woodland Trust (2013) Heartwood Forest. Available at: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/wood/5622/heartwood-forest/ (Accessed: 27 March 2016)