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.

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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Tewin Meadows, near Welwyn Garden City

Purple Iris © Steve Chilton

Best visited in May.

Take a short walk around Tewin Meadows along the river Mimram up to Marden Hill and be rewarded with great views of birds and carpets of flowers, like these Purple Flags.

HNHS member and local wildlife photographer, Steve Chilton, visited on 23 May 2009.

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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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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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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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Hitch Wood, near Hitchin for bluebells

Bluebell wood

Best visited in April and May.

Bluebells are in bloom in late April/early May at Hitch Wood. The waymarked Bluebell Walk starts at the car park on the B651 south of Hichin [TL198239]. The walk winds through the woods and there are several benches where you can relax and admire the sheets of bluebells under the oak trees.

Stocking Springs Wood, Ayot St Lawrence

Wild daffodils © Linda Smith

Best visited in March, April and May.

This small wood is managed by the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust as traditional Hornbeam coppice. At our visit on 31 March 2014 it was alive with clumps of our tiny native Wild Daffodils, Wood Anemones and Violets. These will be followed by sheets of Bluebells in Late April and May.
How to get there, on the B653 from Wheathamstead to Codicote, about 2km along the lane on the left, parking in the lay-by opposite. Grid Ref, TL 202 155. Access at all times, there is a good circular path.

Sherrardspark Wood, Welwyn Garden City for Bluebells

Bluebells © Linda Smith

Best visited in April and May.

The main area of bluebells is in the northern part of the woods. Car park in Rectory Road (off the B197 opposite the Red Lion) [228142] or Pentley Park near Templewood School [235142]. Access at all times, good network of paths and seats. Woodland with mature oaks and lots of birds too.

Templewood Vale, Welwyn Garden City for Cowslips

Cowslips © Linda Smith

Best visited in April and May.

Car parking in Monkswood or at Shoplands off Knightsfield, or walk through Sherrardspark Wood and enjoy the Bluebells too.

Cowslips can be seen on many roadside verges and field margins too.

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.

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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