Wilder St Albans

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We have some of the UK’s most wonderful wildlife all around us: peregrines perching on St Albans cathedral, kingfishers feeding along the River Ver, mayflies emerging from the River Lea and common lizards basking on Nomansland Common.

But times, they are a-changing.

Hedgehog (c) Tom Marshall

Hedgehog (c) Tom Marshall

You may be aware that the humble hedgehog is in trouble. 95% of our prickly pals have already disappeared and they are not alone. One by one, the calls of nightingales and sightings of burnt orchids have disappeared from our county entirely.

There is still time to put nature into recovery, but it must be a joint effort. With your help, we can make more space for wildlife – we can all take action for wildlife and we all have something to offer. Big or small – every little act makes a difference. You can start as local as you like and cut a hole in your garden fence to create a hedgehog highway or plant bee-friendly flowers in your window box. Help wildlife in your school grounds or support others to do something.

SADC St Albans City & District council logo 2021

The Trust is working with St Albans City & District Council to increase the habitats across St Albans and the wildlife they support by coordinating a programme of practical action by the community.

River volunteers (c) Ayub Khan

River volunteers (c) Ayub Khan

Whatever action you take, Wilder St Albans can help. Join the Wilder St Albans community and you will find all the advice, training and support, you, your school or your community needs. If you are taking action right now, then you are already part of a Wilder St Albans.

Together we can create a #WilderStAlbans.

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By taking just one action for nature, no matter how small, you can make an impact and invite more wildlife back into our lives. There are many ways to be involved with Wilder St Albans, all of which are detailed here. If you are already taking action or have plans to do something in the future, you are already part of Wilder St Albans! Let us know what you do for wildlife in St Albans!

By combining our individual actions across our district we are creating positive changes and improving the nature network around us. Every action, no matter how small, can make a huge impact. 

Find out what you can do

Why not join our Facebook community group and use this space to ask questions, find inspiration, offer advice or shout about what you are doing?

Join Wilder St Albans Facebook Group

White-tailed bumblebee on lavender flower

White-tailed bumblebee © Penny Frith

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There are many organisations and groups across our district that are passionate and motivated to bring about positive changes for nature. Many of them are looking for volunteers too! Information on some of these groups can be found here, however, this list is not exhaustive.

If you are part of a group that is not listed here but want to be involved with Wilder St Albans, do get in touch and let us know. 
 

Batford Springs Volunteers

A local community group that runs monthly work parties to support Harpenden Town Council to look after Batford Springs Nature Reserve. The River Lea flows through the reserve and the site also boasts borehole-fed chalk streams, grassland and wet woodland habitat. 

More information

Butterfly Conservation, Herts and Middlesex Branch

This is the local branch of Butterfly Conservation, a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and moths. The group is always looking for volunteers and a list of voluntary activities along with the person whom to contact can be found on their website.

More information

Friends of Bernards Heath

A local community group that works to protect, preserve and enhance the heath in St Albans for the benefit of the neighbourhood and local wildlife. The Friends arrange several Action Days per year for members and volunteers. 

More information

Friends of Greenway Spinney

A local community group that looks after the designated local nature reserve between Alwick Road and Grove Avenue in Harpenden.

More information

Friends of the Nickey Line

A local community group that works to enhance, maintain and encourage use of the Nickey Line. The Nickey Line footpath and cycleway is a former railway line running from Harpenden to Hemel Hempstead. The Friends run regular volunteer work parties and organize local wildlife related events.

More information

Friends of the Wick

A local community group that supports St Albans City and District Council to look after the Wick Local Nature Reserve. The Wick is a small ancient semi natural woodland and county wildlife site right in the heart of residential St Albans.

More information

Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Fungi Group

A local membership organisation that welcomes anyone interested in fungi from beginner to very experienced. This group organizes field meetings, training and fungi forays. 

More information

Hertfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Group

A group established to promote, conserve and study Hertfordshire’s native populations of reptiles and amphibians. The group warmly welcomes new members whatever their level of knowledge or experience. 

More information

Hertfordshire Countryside Management Service

This organisation is a land management agency that supports St Albans City and District Council in managing their green spaces. In addition, they run a programme of walks and practical conservation groups to create. These sessions do not take place at one specific site and there are opportunities to volunteer across the county. 

More information

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Bat Group

The local branch of the Bat Conservation Trust. This volunteer group is working to further bat conservation in Hertfordshire and Middlesex. The group offers advice and assistance with any bat-related enquiry. 

More information

Herts Environmental Records Centre

Local organisation hosted by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust that manages all the information on habitats, species and sites across the county. The data they hold is provided by recorders, professional ecologists and the public. This information can be made available to a wide range of individuals and organisations for use in nature conservation, development, planning and research. 

More information

Hornbeam Wood Hedgehog Sanctuary

A small family-run charity based in Harpenden that helps rehabilitate wild hedgehogs. You can support the charity through donations, fundraising, sponsorships or partnerships. 

More information

St Albans Local Group RSPB

RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people while learning more about birds and wildlife. The group offers free bird watching walks that are led by members of the committee. 

More information

St Albans Tree Action Group

The Tree Action Group was formed after an inspiring meeting of the Environmental Action Group and it aims to raise awareness of the issues trees face and help to develop an appreciation of trees. The group also supports local people who wish to see trees planted, find homes for tree saplings from local gardens and object to the inappropriate removal of trees. The group has created a downloadable tree trail to help you discover the fascinating trees of St Albans and the events that shaped their history.

More information

The Ver Valley Society

This local group is a membership organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the River Ver. They hold regular riverbank work parties and run an events programme throughout the year. There are also volunteering opportunities to carry out riverfly monitoring and become a volunteer bailiff. 

More information

The Watercress Wildlife Association

This is a local nature reserve in St Albans bordered by the River Ver, the Alban Way and Riverside Road. Volunteers are very welcome at the regular work parties usually held on the last Sunday of every month and most Wednesdays. 

More information

Wilderhood Watch

This is a community group that supports neighbours across St Albans to drive wildlife-friendly initiatives on their streets. Your street can become a Hedgehog Street, Pollinator Highway or Bat corridor and be provided with all information and resources needed to help wildlife outside of your homes.

More information

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Anyone with a passion and motivation to make change on their patch or together with others can do something. We can share our own spaces with wildlife – whether that is a window box or a large estate in the countryside. There are so many ways we can make our homes and gardens wild and wonderful. 

Taking action for wildlife can sometimes seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to gain new skills and increase your knowledge, we have a range of courses that can help you. We host events throughout the year for people of all ages to enjoy and offer opportunities for people to get closer to wildlife and have wild experiences. 

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Want to improve your school grounds for wildlife? School grounds can be valuable habitats for local wildlife and contribute to the amazing network of spaces for wildlife across the St Albans District. There are many low-cost ideas for making changes to your grounds which you can involve your class or whole school with and how you can use your school grounds to build a connection to nature for all your pupils.

You'll find lots of ideas here 

Wilder Schools Information Pack

Wilder Schools Information Pack

Children shelter building

(c) Helen Walsh

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We are already busy with projects across the district and more will be added here, as Wilder St Albans continues to grow.

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