By Jenny McCann
Sherrardspark wood is a large oak and hornbeam woodland which contains some of the largest ‘sessile’ oak trees in Hertfordshire and has a wide range of bird and plant species, including mosses and fungi.
The Welwyn Garden City wood has a good network of paths and trails with access points all round the perimeter. Access for people with mobility problems is possible from Campus West, along the disused Ayot Way railway line, which leads through the south-west side of the wood.
Both broad-leaves and conifer have been significantly felled and replanted in the past to produce crops of timber, as well as coppicing of hornbeam for firewood.
Current management is funded the Forestry Commission by woodland grants. Work is undertaken to ensure continuity of oak, removal of invasive non-native species such as sycamore and rhododendron, enhancement of the main ride infrastructure and special management for European protected species.
Paths and trails are maintained with way-marking posts to give clear signage to visitors. Interpretative boards can be found at the five main entrances.
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council works in close partnership with the Sherrardspark Wood Wardens who give hundreds of hours of enthusiastic, skilled voluntary work during the year. Large-scale forestry operations are undertaken by specialist contractors.