In December 2014, Lafarge Tarmac opened up another part of Parkshanger Park to the public with a new walk, the ‘Dragonfly and Duck Trail’.

The Dragonfly and Duck Trail, a 185 metre path along the south-east corner of the Panshanger Park, has been designed and created to provide new opportunities to experience all year round, close up views of nature. Osprey Lake is a strategically significant refuge for wildfowl and breeding birds, while the unique ponds are of county significance for their dragonfly populations.

One of the key issues with allowing public access through this area is that the birds on Osprey Lake are very vulnerable to disturbance. It was therefore a key consideration ensuring that they are protected at all times.

Following consultation with our other Management Committee members – Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust – a fence to part of the lake was considered to be the best way of achieving the balance between providing public access and not damaging the important wildlife interests, which makes Panshanger Park so special.

Overall the trail has received positive feedback, with one user commenting “I have to say this looks like a magnificent addition to the park – well done to everyone responsible”.

The project has been part-funded by Natural England and forms part of a three year, landscape-scale project – involving partners and improvement works across the whole of the River Lea catchment area – from Luton to London.

Chris Gordon from Natural England says,
“We are delighted to be part of such an imaginative project that will allow local people to enjoy seeing some of the very special wildlife that visits the park, without causing disturbance”.

The new trail is included in the guided walks being led by the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, which provide opportunities for visitors to learn about and enjoy the wildlife of the park.

In addition, new benches have been installed alongside the screen, so visitors can spend time relaxing by looking out over the lake and its wildlife.

We hope you enjoy the Dragonfly and Duck Trail and keep an eye out for all the other activities, which are planned in 2015 at Panshanger Park.

Statement from Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust,
"Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust believes the screen is the best solution both for people and wildlife and will encourage more people into the park to enjoy all it has to offer. The Trust looks forward to showing more people the diversity of wildlife from the trail, as part of its continuing guided walk programme at Panshanger Park".

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