On this page we list some great places to visit in Hertfordshire to see wildlife this month. The articles below give details of the wildlife seen on specific dates with photographs and access information.

King's Meads Nature Reserve, near Ware

Crosswort © Steve Chilton

Best visited in April, May and June.

King's Meads is the largest area of grazed riverside flood meadow in Hertfordshire. Steve Chilton visited on 27 May 2009 and photographed some of the lovely spring flowers, including this Crosswort. King's Meads is also one of the top sites for dragonflies in the County.

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Marshalls Heath Nature Reserve, Wheathampstead

Common Blue © Steve Chilton

Best visited in May, June, July and August.

This small area of acid grass heath is remarkable for its biodiversity with over 1300 species of plants and animals recorded, including more than 40 on national lists of threatened species. It is a key site for butterflies, like this Common Blue.

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Waterford Heath, near Hertford

Large Red Damselfly © Steve Chilton

Best visited in May, June, July and August.

This nature reserve has been reclaimed from a former sand and gravel works. Its constantly changing landscape supports an abundance of floral and insect interest; including the scarce Grizzled Skipper butterfly and the Large Red Damselfly. The reserve is accessible at all times and conditions are generally easy.

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Hexton Chalk Pit

Sainfoin at Hexton Chalk Pit © Steve Chilton

Best visited in June and July.

Once an active chalk quarry, this small reserve near Hitchin is now full of chalk grassland herbs and grasses. It is a peaceful spot with fine views across the border into Bedfordshire. Steve Chilton visited on 23 June 2009 and photographed this lovely bank of Sanfoin.

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Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits near St Albans

Best visited in any month.

The Tyttenhanger area is one of the best places in Hertfordshire to see a wide variety of bird species, including wetland specialists. There is plenty of other wildlife around too.

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Hoddesdon Park Wood for Wood Anemones

Wood Anemones © Linda Smith

Best visited in April, May and June.

One of Hertfordshire's most beautiful woods, resplendent with a green and white carpets of Wood Anemones in mid-April.

Enter the wood along Ermine Street, off road parking at Goose Green to the north (TL347087) or Danemead to the south (TL347077).

The wood is owned by the Woodland Trust and has a good network of paths.

Note there are no Bluebells in Hoddesdon Park wood.

Balls Wood Nature Reserve, near Hertford Heath

Herb Paris © Steve Chilton

Best visited in May and June.

Now owned by the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Balls Wood is an ancient coppiced hornbeam wood. The specialty of the wood is the rare plant, Herb Paris, which is in full flower now. There are two good-sized colonies of them close to the main footpaths.

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Steps Hill, Ivinghoe Beacon and Incombe Hole

Fragrant Orchid © Steve Chilton

Best visited in June.

Although slightly beyond the western edge of Hertfordshire, it doesn’t matter where you choose to walk from the main car park at Steps Hill, the views will always be spectacular and birds, butterflies, flowers and other wildlife are plentiful and varied. When Steve Chilton visited on 14 June 2009 he found four species of orchid in full bloom, Fragrant (photograph), Common Spotted, Pyramidal and Common Twayblade, plus masses of other flowers of chalk grassland, butterflies and birds. Tring Reservoirs and the woodlands at Ashridge are nearby in Hertfordshire.

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