Harpenden explores nature for SustFest19

As part of Harpenden Town Council’s aim to encourage people to engage and learn more about their local common and green spaces, our Commons and Greens Support Officer runs events throughout the year, exploring a wide variety of wildlife and habitats.

Harpenden Town Council takes over our Guest Blog this week looking at events being run as part of the Sustainabilty Festival 11th May to 1st June. Details of all events below can be found at sustainablestalbans.org

Spending just a few minutes each day enjoying nature is known to improve mental health and wellbeing, as well as help to create long lasting memories with children and adults alike. More information about events throughout the year can be found at http://www.harpenden.gov.uk/events-calendar as well as booking links for those below.

Bat Walks


Harpenden Common is home to two species of bat, the Common Pipistrelle and the Soprano Pipistrelle. These are species which hunt for their prey along treelines and hedgerows, making the common perfect hunting ground. What do they eat? How do we know we have these species on the Common? What can we do to continue to help these nocturnal predators of the sky? Come along to Bat Walks on Harpenden Common on the 14th and 16th May to find out.

River Dipping

29-5 58 - RIver DippingHarpenden is home to lots of special habitats and one of these is the chalk river, the river Lea, which runs through it. Chalk streams are a rare habitat, 98% of which are found in England. They boast a diversity which rivals the rainforest, from the tiniest aquatic invertebrates to a number of fish species. Can you identify a mayfly larvae or a stonefly larvae? What does a caddis fly make its home out of? Bring along some wellies and get stuck in, learn how to id these aliens of the waterways and how we look after this special habitat. Morning and afternoon session on the 29th May. 10am – 12:30pm Morning session. 2pm – 3:30pm Afternoon Session

18-5 57 Litter picking

Litter Picking on the Common

Come along and help us keep Harpenden clean by picking up a litter picker and a bag at Harpenden Cricket Club. Go the extra mile and separate the recyclable litter from the non-recyclable. Drop in session from 1pm to 3pm – Pop along at any point during that time to collect your gear.

Marvellous Mammals

Bank vole in the hand - small mammal trappingThis event is running in conjunction with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. Small mammals like field voles, shrews and field mice are an incredibly important part of any food chain. Able to produce between 5-10 litters of 3-12 young every year, they are plentiful in number and are eaten by birds, larger mammals, and even insects take advantage! A healthy number of small mammals can indicate a healthy habitat. Come along and see the small mammal live traps (called longworth traps) in action, and hopefully see a mouse or shrew! Learn what they look like, what they eat, and what tracks and signs these and some of our larger mammals leave behind. Location TBC – Friday 31st May 9:30am-11am.

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