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Handsome herons at St Albans

Every weekend and Bank Holiday from 4 March to 1 May, 2016

  • Binoculars and telescopes for hire
  • Staff on hand to help
  • Refreshments available
  • Toilets
Grey herons at St Albans (Aren't birds brilliant!)

Image: Nigel Blake

It's always the quiet ones like me that you have to look out for.

I'll be hopping, skipping, flapping and snapping. Add some blood-curdling cries and throw in some wild plumage, and you begin to get a picture of my courtship dance.

For most of the year, I hunt alone, stealthy and patient.

But this is forgotten when it's time to breed and lots of us get together and build nests in the treetops, one metre across, right here in the centre of St Albans.

Come along to see us hunt, choose our mates and raise our chicks: you'll have front row seats because the RSPB will be on hand with telescopes and binoculars to get you right into the drama.

Also, this year there will be a camera installed on the island for extra special views of us in our nests. Come along to the viewpoint in the park and see live footage of our chicks as they hatch and grow.

When can you see us?

Each weekend and Bank Holiday in March and April volunteers will be on hand in Verulamium Park to show park visitors this active heronry.

Last year, 11 out of the 17 nests on Verulamium Lake's islands were active, and we hope this year will see similar activity.

Volunteers with telescopes focused on the nesting herons will be on hand from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm from 5 March. There will also be information about herons, the RSPB and local nature in this part of Hertfordshire. Refreshments and toilets are available in the park.

For more on what the herons are up to, and for information on other Dates with Nature check out our Community blog.

How to find us

By car
Follow the A414 north orbital road to the south of St Albans until the roundabout signposted the A405 to Watford. At this roundabout turn right on to the A5183 (Watling Street). Follow this road up the hill. Turn right onto St Stephens Hill past the school on the left. Turn left in to Westminster Lodge to find a large car park. The viewpoint will be clearly signposted from here.

By train
St Albans Abbey train station can be found directly opposite the Westminster Lodge car park. Follow signs from St Stephens Hill.

Alternatively, St Albans City station is around a mile's walk via the city centre (along Victoria Street, Chequer St, High Street and past St Albans Cathederal) or a slightly longer walk of 1.5 miles along the Alban Way, a walking and bicycle route. There are maps just outside the main station entrance.

By bicycle
Verulamium park is just off National Cycle route 6 which runs North/South towards Watford and Luton and National Cycle route 61 (the Alban Way). There are also cycle routes in Verulamium park.

What should I bring?

Nothing special, but we're outside so make sure you dress for the weather.

Still got some questions?

Telephone: Mark Brandon on 01767 693253


    This date has been brought to you with the help of The Friends of Verulamium Park and St Albans City Council.

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