CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

How to find health and happiness in Hertfordshire’s wildlife

PUBLISHED: 11:58 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:45 30 January 2018

Surveying for plants and animals, just one of the many opportunities available to volunteers (photo: Charlotte Hussey)

Surveying for plants and animals, just one of the many opportunities available to volunteers (photo: Charlotte Hussey)

Charlotte Hussey

Health and happiness is a walk in the park, says Charlotte Hussey, as Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust joins the Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity

2018 is the Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has teamed up with a number of other organisations ‘in support of making Hertfordshire the most active county.’ Around one in five adults in Hertfordshire does less than 30 minutes of activity each week, and it is hoped that the opportunities for participating in large scale events this year will help to improve this statistic. There are so many benefits from being more active in daily life, from improving your emotional and physical health, to widening your circle of friends.

Find your happy place!

Where do you love to be most? In the dappled light of a woodland, trees as far as you can see and leaves whispering in the wind? Or does the sound of gentle water calm your soul? Maybe wide open spaces with fantastic views and gorgeous flowers puts a big smile on your face? Everyone is different so have a think, visit different places, and work out what inspires you to be outside – then go there! If you love it, it won’t be a chore to be walking, jogging or volunteering outside.

Bug hunting during HMWT and Herts Natural History Society's 2017 Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park, HertfordBug hunting during HMWT and Herts Natural History Society's 2017 Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park, Hertford

Convenience is key

Look at the map on our website to see just how many nature reserves there are in Hertfordshire – there’s sure to be one not far from where you live. It’s always useful to have a place to hand, so you can fit in a quick walk in a beautiful area and get the blood pumping.

A run through the woods - hard to beat for lifting the spirits (photo: Charlotte Hussey)A run through the woods - hard to beat for lifting the spirits (photo: Charlotte Hussey)

Help local wildlife

To meet like-minded people and achieve something for your local area while you’re getting healthy, consider volunteering. The trust runs work parties throughout the year when teams get together to improve habitats. Tasks range from holly clearance to hay cutting and wildlife surveying. Have a look at the website or speak to one of our reserves officers when they are out and about to find out more.

A Wildlife Trust published report last year showed that 95 per cent of volunteers who took part in nature conservation activities over 12 weeks and were identified as having poor levels of mental health at the start, reported an improvement in six weeks, which increased further over 12 weeks. Participants also reported significantly enhanced feelings of positivity, increased general health and pro-environmental behaviour, higher levels of physical activity and more contact with green space.

Get involved

If you would like to get out more and learn as you do, then come along to one of our many walking events. They are a great way to start gently moving. Our walks usually take place over a couple of hours, have a relaxed pace, and lots of fantastic information from our expert reserves officers. We also have special events such as mindfulness in the woods, so you can look after your mind as well as your body. Pick up a Go Wild events leaflet or visit the website for more information and to book.

Spice of life

Remember to visit lots of different places and vary what you’re doing to keep things exciting. A relaxed amble one day, a fast hill walk another, or even taking an ID chart out with you to learn about the wildlife around you, from birds and fungi to trees and wildflowers. Follow your passion and get active doing it!

Follow @HMWTBadger and @HertsYOPA18 on Twitter to keep up to date with events and to get involved.


Follow Hertfordshire Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 10:10

Don’t miss the December issue – everything you need for a fabulous Herts Christmas!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We quiz author Kevin Exley about his new book that takes the reader on the trail of fascinating stories, new and old, around Berkhamsted

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Don’t miss the November issue of Hertfordshire Life - out now!

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Hertfordshire is a county with a vast, fascinating and sometimes dark and bloody history that has reportedly lead to more than a few angry ghosts sticking around to wreak havoc and take revenge on the living. We have gathered 10 of the most haunted places in the county

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Make the most out of autumn with these eight walking routes that take in a variety of Hertfordshire’s terrains and - most importantly – have a cosy pub along the way

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We've selected a variety of spooky activities in the county that are sure to delight the kids

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Christmas isn’t complete without a trip to a festive fair. From German-style food stalls to vintage fetes, Hertfordshire’s Christmas markets have it all

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s Charlotte Hussey explores the fascinating world of bats and new projects in the county to help conserve these remarkable creatures

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species is asking the public to look out for mammals on Hertfordshire’s roads as part of a citizen science project

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

From stately homes to skateparks, we have selected some of the best ideas for things to do in Hertfordshire

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search