Make the outdoors yours in Hertfordshire

With the days getting warmer now is the time to explore the great outdoors. Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has some suggestions

HERTS and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is working to create a living landscape in Hertfordshire – a network of rich habitats throughout the county that will support both wildlife and people. Key to this goal is the preservation and enhancement of areas that are already important for wildlife and recreation. The Stort Valley is without a doubt such an area and the Trust’s Connecting People with the Stort Valley Project is all about ‘putting it on the map’ as a great place to go. There are amazing wildlife and recreation opportunities to be found in this relatively unspoilt part of the county, and we’re helping to create a diverse living landscape for everyone to enjoy. The Stort Valley provides a fantastic habitat for freshwater fish, dragonflies, butterflies and other insects, wildfowl, otters and hopefully soon water voles. You can travel the length of the River Stort from Bishops Stortford down to where the river meets the River Lea in Hoddesdon by narrow boat, canoe, bike, on foot and by train. In 2007 a study carried out in the Stort Valley showed that many local residents were unaware of the wonderful nature reserves in their area and many more would like to have better access to the tow path and open spaces. The Connecting People with the Stort Valley Project was created to help the people discover the natural and social heritage of the Stort Valley and its open spaces. The project offers a wide range of activities from canal boat trips and guided mountain bike rides to wildlife identification courses, guided walks through the local nature reserves and the odd bit of pond dipping. Residents and visitors alike will soon see new directional signs, leaflets and interpretation boards, providing useful information for years to come. Project Officer Amy Wheeler has been busy promoting the Stort through a number of events and activities. Over 15 canal boat trips with local community groups, six volunteer warden-led walks around wonderful nature reserves, four wildlife ID courses (for absolute beginners) and four family events are already planned for the next 12 months. In addition, further walks, talks and educational activities can be arranged to suit local community groups with an interest in the Stort. All of the events you can take part in can be found on and in the dedicated Stort Valley leaflet available from HMWT and other Stort Valley partners, local libraries and points of interest.We hope that this flurry of activity will combine to create a real excitement about this lovely valley, bordering both Hertfordshire and Essex, and will offer thousands of people the chance to get much closer to the outdoors – whether it’s for sport, recreation, relaxation, wildlife watching or curiosity about what’s out there.


Junior Angling EventSaturday 5th June11am – 4pm. Follow signs on Hallingbury Road.HMWT have teamed up with Sawbridgeworth Angling Society to offer the chance for children of all ages to try out fishing for the first time. You will be coached by experienced fishermen and get the chance to learn about the different fish you can catch in your local lakes and rivers. Fun for all the family. Come along and get hooked on fishing!

To find out more about the Stort Valley, its nature reserves and how you can get involved, contact Amy Wheeler on 01727 858901 or or visit