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Monday, 22 January 2018

Local committee member wins volunteering award
Photo: Judith Parry/WTML

Local committee member wins volunteering award

The Woodland Trust award recognised Andrew's work recording butterflies at Heartwood Forest at an award ceremony on 2 December 2017.

Andrew walks a fixed route at Heartwood, taking about 90 minutes, every week from April to the end of September and identifies and counts every butterfly he sees. He has been doing this since 2010, and he now has a fantastic record of the butterflies at Heartwood Forest and how the numbers have increased. He has identified 27 species, and shown that in the first six years butterfly numbers increased three-fold (a small decrease in 2016 was a nationwide effect of the wet weather). He also takes superb photos of the butterflies, birds and other insects and these have been used in the wildlife zone at Heartwood Forest Summer Festival.

His results have been included in two publications including 'Butterflies of Hertfordshire and Middlesex', published in November 2016 by the Hertfordshire Natural History Society. Sarah Shaw, the Woodland Trust's Volunteering Development Coordinator, said: "I would be surprised if there is any better, hard evidence of the benefits that the Woodland Trust brings to the English countryside. Andrew also runs regular - and very popular - guided walks at Heartwood. His knowledge of his subjects is vast, and he is a huge inspiration to all those of us who have met him or joined him on one of his walks. His hard work, dedication, talent and effort are an inspiration to us all."