St Albans SustFest events aim to boost local nature

A young resident counts minibeasts in the Abbey Orchard for SustFest22

A young resident counts minibeasts in the Abbey Orchard for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

“Everyone can help give nature a boost” is a key message from the St Albans district’s Sustainability Festival - which continues this week.

Many of the festival’s events this year are about wildlife and all aim to empower local residents to make small changes that make a big difference.

Heidi Carruthers from Wilder St Albans shows residents the pond life at the CDA Herts SustFest22 Community Garden Open Day

Heidi Carruthers from Wilder St Albans shows residents the pond life at the CDA Herts SustFest22 Community Garden Open Day - Credit: SustFest22

In the past week, residents met hedgehogs with Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, counted minibeasts in the Abbey Orchard and used RSPB scopes to see the herons at Verulamium Lake. Marshalswick Baptist Free Church showed how the tiniest of spaces can be turned into an eco-garden while CDA Herts Community Garden Open Day trumpeted encouraging pondlife.

Heidi Carruthers from Wilder St Albans helps residents dig a garden pond for SustFest22

Heidi Carruthers from Wilder St Albans helps residents dig a garden pond for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

Wilder St Albans people and wildlife officer, Heidi Carruthers, said: “It has been amazing to see so many community groups come together under the umbrella of SustFest22 to show what they have been doing for our local wildlife – and, importantly, encouraging residents to join in. If there is one single best thing you can do, please provide water for wildlife in your garden. The smallest pond – just a buried washing-up tub – or a shallow water dish lined with pebbles can be vital to our birds and insects.”


Heron at Verulamium Lakes during the RSPB’s Heron Watch sessions for SustFest22

Heron at Verulamium Lakes during the RSPB’s Heron Watch sessions for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

Wilderhood Watch’s Nadia Bishara added: “SustFest22 has been huge for us – launching our Swift Action and Wildlife Gardening Champions projects. On Saturday, our “Buzz Trail” linked six different stalls in St Albans each promoting one of our projects. And we have more to come - including the grand opening of the George Street Canteen Wildlife Garden in St Albans 11am-3pm on Sunday.”

Volunteers at a Wilderhood Watch SustFest22 Buzz Trail stall

Volunteers at a Wilderhood Watch SustFest22 Buzz Trail stall - Credit: SustFest22

The Sustainability Festival continues until the end of the month with plenty more events for the public, many of them free.

Greenwood URC held plant sales for SustFest22

Greenwood URC held plant sales for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

Events to book for Saturday May 28 include a Herbs for Wellbeing workshop by The OLLIE Foundation and a guided walk in Heartwood Forest with Herts & Middlesex Butterfly Conservation. WasteAware are holding a Clothes Swap at the Abbey Theatre while St Albans District Fixers are holding a repair fair in Marshalswick to help residents mend broken items.

Local musicians perform for Change the World through Music at the Mermaid for SustFest22

Local musicians perform for Change the World through Music at the Mermaid for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

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Weekend drop-in events including a litter pick and the St Albans Cathedral SustFest Prayer Tree.

The full Sustainability Festival event listings are at sustfest.org

South Herts Cyclists’ invited residents to join a 5 Miles to Fabulous bike ride for SustFest22

South Herts Cyclists’ invited residents to join a 5 Miles to Fabulous bike ride for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

Local residents attended Wildlife Watercolour Workshops at the Nude Tin Can gallery for SustFest22

Local residents attended Wildlife Watercolour Workshops at the Nude Tin Can gallery for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22

Local Rainbows made sock caterpillars for SustFest22

Local Rainbows made sock caterpillars for SustFest22 - Credit: SustFest22