Visitors discover wonders of Harpenden common

FAMILIES turned out in force to discover the wonder of the common on their doorstep on Saturday.

Harpenden Common Discovery Day, now in its second year, proved a big draw with thousands of people exploring the open space and enjoying activities relating to nature and the environment.

They included a falconry display, dog and duck show, mini beast safari and chainsaw carving.

Town Mayor, Cllr Daniel Chichester-Miles, said: “It was fantastic to see the Common being used and enjoyed by people of all ages. The event is a great way to promote the many features of the Common including the nature trails, horse ride and picnic area.

“Even Frazzle the falcon wanted to see more of the Common and made an unplanned visit to see the golfers at Harpenden Common golf course for a couple of hours.”

Organised by the town council, the event also gave over 20 environmental groups in the area an opportunity to raise awareness of their issues and recruit new volunteers. National organisations like Friends of the Earth participated alongside more local groups with displays and organised activities. The Upper Lea Valley Group (ULVG), which helps look after the Batford Springs Nature Reserve, was also involved.

Chairman Ian Salvage said: “It was a very successful day which many families thoroughly enjoyed. We looked to raise a number of volunteers interested in helping out at the reserve and we now have a great list of people interested.”

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The common is also home to the annual circus which was represented by a workshop demonstrating circus skills.

There was also a working beehive, bats, a chance to learn to spin wool, pond dipping and craft activities as well as the ever-popular welly-wanging competition.