The first Panshanger Park Biodiversity Conference was held on Wednesday 24 February at Bayfordbury Science Learning Centre, jointly hosted by Tarmac and Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust. The event was a huge success with nearly 50 attendees engaging in fantastic talks.
The aim of the conference was to bring together everyone who is involved with or interested in species recording and monitoring in the park in order to share results, learn about what others are doing and share ideas.
This inaugural conference consisted of five talks across a variety of subjects including wildfowl, water voles, riverfly monitoring, small mammals and how all these records can be used to help with managing the park. The talks showed how important the park is for all these species and a huge variety of other wildlife.
The park supports a number of important habitats and species throughout, with the maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity seen as a priority for Tarmac. Tarmac’s sustainable ethos in general is demonstrated perfectly with conferences like this, which also shows their successful relationship with local Wildlife Trusts.
To date the species monitoring in the park has resulted in almost 10,000 individual species records which represents over 2300 different species covering a number of species groups such as birds, mammals, plants and beetles. One key species that is regularly monitored in the park is the water vole, Britain’s fastest declining mammal. Panshanger Park has been found to hold a very important population of these small mammals along the River Mimram which flows through the park. Other species currently monitored for include wildfowl, butterflies and bats among many others.
Tarmac restoration manager, Michael Charlton, said: “The conference illustrated the huge range of wildlife to be found at the park and the huge volunteer survey effort that is helping to further our understanding. The Herts Environmental Records Centre has been instrumental in helping us to process and understand all this information which will be used to inform our management of the park with the aim of protecting and increasing the amount of wildlife our visitors can enjoy. With many more surveys planned over the coming year we hope we will soon reach 10,000 individual species records. If anyone would like to get involved, please contact Jennifer our People and Wildlife Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.”
It is hoped that the Biodiversity Conference will become an annual event focussing on different species groups and monitoring schemes each year to bring stakeholders up to date with what’s been happening at the park.
A Summary Report from the conference can be viewed here.