Local Charity Cancels Flagship Wildlife Festival Due To Coronavirus

Living Magazines Festival of Wildlife 2019 © Frieda Rummenhohl

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust sadly has to cancel its annual Festival of Wildlife at Panshanger Park.

The Festival of Wildlife is the Trust’s largest community event and was scheduled to take place at Panshanger Park near Hertford on 25 and 26 July. Under the current uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus, the Trust has taken the difficult decision to cancel the event.

The Festival, organised in partnership with Tarmac and in association with Herts Natural History Society, has been running since 2015 and has attracted annual crowds of up to 3,000 people. The family-friendly festival usually offers a wealth of activities such as walks and expert talks as well as children’s crafts, local craftspeople and other charities to discover.

The announcement comes at a time when many charities are struggling, as events across the UK had to be cancelled. Josh Kubale, the Trust’s Communication Manager, says: ‘The Festival of Wildlife is a great way for people to see and learn about wildlife and it also raises a substantial amount of income for the Trust through donations and new memberships; in addition to contributions from our sponsors, last year the Festival raised over £3,500 to help protect local wildlife.’

‘We are very sad to have to take this decision. Whilst we might not face the same restrictions in July that are in place at the moment, it is unlikely that mass gatherings such as the Festival of Wildlife will be allowed or encouraged. Our primary concern is to keep visitors, volunteers and our staff safe,’ Josh Kubale continues.

Nature Reserves Manager Laura Baker says: ‘The income raised through our events programme, including the Festival of Wildlife, is so important to helping us to look after our nature reserves which provide a home to our precious wildlife in Hertfordshire and Middlesex.’

The Trust has had to cancel over 90 events in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, including guided walks and workshops, which normally cater for over 1,500 people.

The temporary cessation of the Trust’s events programme means far fewer opportunities to inspire and educate people about their local wildlife. But the Trust is still helping people stay wild with its Wild At Home project, which aims to bring people closer to wildlife from the safety of their homes though wildlife activities, inspiration and art. To find more information about how you can take part and support this project, visit hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/wildathome.