Dawn Chorus Walk – 15th May 2017

We were greeted with a spectacular sunrise this morning at 5am when we arrived on the field for our Dawn Chorus walk. Lots of red in the sky - sailors warning - but the rain held off till we’d almost finished our walk at 7am.

The birds were singing very loudly, especially a Blackcap who serenaded us beautifully, although his song was suddenly interrupted by the call of a Muntjac deer which was even louder! We heard 18 different species of bird in all including Whitethroat, and we saw a Heron flying over Warner’s End wood. The Starlings were particularly numerous and Steve counted 96 birds feeding on the top field, including many fledglings.

We had to take care not to tread on the many Roman, and also Brown-lipped and White-lipped snails, while we admired some of the spring flowers, including Bird’s foot trefoil, Common Vetch and Bugle.

The party was invited back to our house for coffee and toast, where the Bluetits in our camera nest box obligingly started to fledge in spite of the chilly, damp weather. “Better than Breakfast TV!” was the conclusion.

Birds seen/heard

Great Tit Chiffchaff Wren
Long-tailed Tit Blackcap (several) Heron
Song Thrush Dunnock Starlings (96)
Blackbird Whitethroat Magpie
Wood pigeon Crow Jackdaw
Pheasant Robin Green Woodpecker


Thank you to Stuart Downhill for getting up so early to lead our walk!


The Grand opening of the Halsey Field - July 16th 2017

A successful Opening - article for the Gazette newspaper

There was an extra buzz on The Halsey Field in Gadebridge last Sunday, when the Mayor Councillor David Collins came to open our new Wildlife Site.

The former Mayor, Maureen Flint, and writer and broadcaster Dennis Furnell also spoke about the importance of preserving the natural environment. Other prominent local figures, including Councillors Janice Marshall and Fiona Guest, the chairman of the Boxmoor Trust David Kirk, and ecology advisor Martin Hicks came for stroll around the site. Many local residents joined us and took part in all the activities.

The weather was kind to us, and the warmth meant there were lots of butterflies on the wing for our Big Butterfly Count in the afternoon, when 16 species of butterfly and 1 species of day flying moth were spotted. Other activities included a guided tour around the field for the Mayor and other visitors, several wild flower walks, a children's bug hunt, and a children's poster competition, with several cake, tea and coffee breaks to sustain us throughout the day. Neal from the Osbourne Property Group kindly came to help us with the catering and photography. There was also a display of live moths from the moth sampling event carried out over the previous evening; all the moths were released back into the field at the end of the day.

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to attend the event and show such enthusiasm for the site, and to all the many people who helped with the day's activities.




We Won! - The Friends of Halsey Field are now officially the Community Champion Award winners for 2017

This article is now on the Dacorum website:

The Awards are now in their ninth year, and recognise individuals and groups who go out of their way to make Dacorum a cleaner, safer and greener place to live.

To celebrate the hard work that our Community Champions do in their neighbourhoods, they were invited to a ceremony on Thursday (5 October) where the Mayor of Dacorum presented them with their awards.

Councillor Janice Marshall, Portfolio Holder for Environmental, Sustainability and Regulatory Services, said: "These awards are a perfect opportunity to showcase the selfless people that we have in Dacorum, those who dedicate their spare time to making their communities cleaner, safer and greener. Your hard work is an inspiration to others and does not go unnoticed. Thank you for making Dacorum a better place for all to enjoy!"

Christine Ridley, one of the founding members of the Friends of Halsey Field Group, said: "We are delighted that so many people are able to enjoy this new wildlife site in so many ways - for exercise, socialising, education, and peace and wellbeing."

Find more at the following links: