Help save an ancient Hertfordshire woodland

Bluebells and Wood Anemones grow thickly in a sun dappled wood

Bluebells and wood anemones are a delight in ancient Astonbury Wood - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

With one of the richest habitats in the UK, our ancient woodlands are precious places. Yet without any special protection they need our urgent help. An urgent campaign has been launched to save such a wood near Stevenage. 

Astonbury Wood is an area of ancient woodland just south of Stevenage in the parish of Aston. Visit in spring and you are met with an incredible sight of wood anemones and bluebells covering the woodland floor. Song thrushes chant their melodic song, a little stream meanders and you can follow footpaths to explore the site. There are several ponds, and in autumn you can discover a variety of fungi – 750 different types have been recorded here making it the richest site for fungi in Hertfordshire and recognised nationally as Important Fungus Area. 

The wood is truly a haven for wildlife – one that should be preserved and protected for future generations and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust wants to do just that. The trust has launched a public fundraising campaign to raise £104,000 by the end of July to help purchase and manage this ancient woodland habitat for years to come. Under its care, the woodland and its wildlife can continue to thrive, visitors can learn about the wildlife here and, most importantly, how to care for and protect this site and others like from future threats. 

Song thrush singing in woodland

It may be near one of the county's most populous towns, but head into Astonbury Wood and return to the wild, including the song of the song thrush - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In Hertfordshire’s State of Nature Report, published by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust in 2020, we called for the protection of at least 30 per cent of land for wildlife to help nature recover and stop further wildlife decline. The trust is committed to protecting and connecting habitats as habitat fragmentation plays a major role in the ecological crisis. Following the trust’s acquisition of Beane Marsh Nature Reserve in Hertford in 2020, we now need your help to secure the future of Astonbury Wood. 

To help keep Astonbury Wood a wonderful wild place, visit