Going wild for June

May 22, 2023

Panshanger Park is 1,000 acres of countryside situated between Welwyn Garden City and Hertford. Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is working with the park’s owners, Tarmac, to manage the park for both people and wildlife. 

Spring is well underway now, as young animals are starting to take their first few steps, hops or flaps in the world, and the leaves on the trees are very nearly all out. Panshanger Park is looking particularly vivacious with the fresh, vibrant green that this time of year brings. 

Emergence from our aquatic habitats are now in full swing too. Look out for an increase in dragonfly and damselfly species near wetland areas or over grasslands. The adult broad-bodied chaser is a particularly obliging species to spot at this time of year. This chunky blue bodied (golden-brown for females) dragonfly likes to rest on pathways or prominent low branches, on a sunny day – look out for it along our dragonfly trail.

Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly ©Tony Taylor

As June is nearly upon us, it means another exciting seasonal event is on its way. It’s time to get ready for the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild event and commit to doing one wild thing every day throughout the month. This is the biggest nature challenge in the UK – last year half a million people signed up and took part – and this year the Trust wants to make it even bigger! 

The opportunity to do more things connected to nature and the outdoors can be done in your back garden, local green space or why not visit Panshanger Park as one of your wild days. 

30 Days Wild is not just for children… Take time yourself to enjoy being outside, listening to flowing water, feeling the wind on your face or having a closer look at what is living on the plants that you pass on your walk. You can even embrace your inner child and enjoy some puddle splashing! 

The 30 Days Wild challenge is a brilliant opportunity to head outdoors and connect with the natural world, and what’s more it has tremendous benefits for wellbeing. Research conducted over a five-year period as part of the 30 Days Wild annual summer challenge revealed: 

  • The daily activity made people significantly happier, particularly those who started with a relatively weak connection to nature. 
  • The challenge boosted the health of participants by an average of 30%. 
  • Increases in people’s health and happiness were still felt two months after the challenge was over. 
  • The more connected to nature people feel, the more they will do something to help to protect it – behaviours that benefit wildlife, habitats and communities. 

To get your free pack, visit https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/30dayswild or join one of our upcoming dragonfly walks at Panshanger Park. For more information, visit https://panshangerpark.tarmac.com. 

Jo Whitaker is the Panshanger Park people and wildlife officer. She works for Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and her role is funded by Tarmac.