An outstanding Hertfordshire naturalist

Peter is most well known for his work to establish The Commons Nature Reserve, where he is the volunteer warden. Thirty-five acres of waste ground sandwiched between Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield have been lovingly restored to fenland, woodland and pasture over the past decade by a dedicated group of local people led by Peter. Having played on the land as a child and having seen his own children do the same, he is committed to encouraging children to enjoy nature, even if it means having to clear up the occasional bits of litter.

As a naturalist, Peter is wide-ranging, although mammals are probably his first love (he talked to us about his Dormice studies at last year’s AGM). Quite apart from the his professional work in land management, he has spent time working with other voluntary enthusiasts and national experts on animals which are difficult to study, such as harvest mice, water voles and the water shrew. He also loves birds and his training as a ringer has helped to study the roosting populations of reed buntings at The Commons.

Ever the practical person, he is often the one to whom others turn for help, He is also not afraid to get involved with controversy when wildlife conservation has been at stake, such as the campaign recently to protect the natural landscapes in the Lea Valley south of the Garden City, threatened by massive housing plans. Peter was also HNHS Treasurer for 2 years.