A Happy New Year to all our members – and thanks to everyone who has renewed (or is about to renew) their subscriptions – which fall due every January!

We are looking forward to the Gerald Salisbury Memorial Lecture on the evening of Wednesday 22 February when Tim Wright and Prof. Brian Legg  will talk about the flora and fauna of Heartwood Forest outside St Albans.  More than 600,000 native trees and shrubs were planted over nine years on previously arable farmland and HNHS / Bird Club members have been working with other volunteers to monitor the site's wildlife from the start.

The 347-hectare site, owned by the Woodland Trust, incorporates four patches of ancient semi-natural woodland that are famous for their bluebells. A native tree arboretum has been planted as part of the forest and a community orchard. There is also a small wetland area with seasonal pond.

The lecture will describe how thirteen years of wildlife monitoring have yielded fascinating insights into the woodland’s growth and development, including changing patterns as the new trees grow and it evolves. The work has dfemonstrated Heartwood’s growing importance within the county as habitat for relatively rare as well as typical Hertfordshire species.

The Gerald Salisbury Lecture is jointly organised by Welwyn Natural History Society and HNHS and starts at 8pm on Wednesday 22 February 2023 in Welwyn Civic Centre, Prospect Place, AL6 9ER. There is an admission charge of £3 for non-Welwyn Natural History Society members.

Heartwood photo © Judith Parry