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Panshanger Park partnership recognised at High Sherriff Awards

Friday 17th March 2017

Tarmac, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and the Herts Natural History Society have won a prestigious Hertfordshire High Sherriff Award for their successful working partnership at Panshanger Park, receiving the ‘Highly Commended Award for a Voluntary-Private Sector Partnership’.

The awards, run by the High Sheriff in association with Hertfordshire Community Foundation, highlight, celebrate and encourage partnership working between voluntary or community sector organisations and the public or private sectors. Over forty applications were made to the Awards and all 11 shortlisted organisations were present at the ceremony which was held last night at County Hall in Hertford.

Tarmac and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust are working together to deliver education and engagement projects at Panshanger Park, making it a better place for wildlife and people, and encouraging volunteering and educational activities. The Award recognises the important role of volunteers, including support from the Herts Natural History Society for the Annual Festival of Wildlife which is held at the Park and attracted over 1500 visitors last year.

Michael Charlton, Restoration Manager at Tarmac, said “We are thrilled to be awarded for our partnership working. We are extremely proud of our restoration of Panshanger Park and seeing how wildlife thrives here, all achieved with the help of our partners. Our initiatives, like the Forest School and the People and Wildlife Project, mean that a diverse range of people from across the county can enjoy and learn more about the outstanding landscape and habitat we have here.”

Lesley Davies, Chief Executive of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust: “This Award confirms the strength of the partnership we have with Tarmac and the Herts Natural History Society. Our teams work hard to make Panshanger Park an exemplary place for wildlife and we love to see how much people have fun visiting and getting involved in the various activities we run here. I would like to say a personal thank you to all the volunteers who help at the Park.”

The longstanding partnership at Panshanger Park is being celebrated for its multiple benefits for local wildlife and people. As mineral extraction at the Park is drawing to a close, on-going sensitive restoration is supporting a range of high quality wildlife habitats, including internationally important chalk stream habitat with a population of nationally rare water vole, lakes home to significant populations of wintering wildfowl and one of the best places to see dragonflies in the county.

A central objective of the partnership is to see more people visit and enjoy the Park, running events and two key projects. The Forest School opened in 2015 and offers local schools an opportunity to take part in a six-week learning course in the beautiful woodland of Panshanger Park. It has just welcomed its 1000th child. Last year over 5000 people joined in guided walks, open days and volunteer work parties organized by the People and Wildlife Project.