We are delighted to be able to tell you that the Purple Emperor butterfly has been spotted at Heartwood Forest. The following report was sent in by David Hunt, who took the photo shown below:

“Resisting the distant call of a cold beer, I then went on to Heartwood Forest to see if there were any White-letter Hairstreak around the regenerating elm along the southeast boundary of Well Wood. No luck. Other butterflies seen included many Gatekeeper, a couple of Meadow Brown (the reverse of the situation on Nomansland); 2 Comma, 5 Green-veined White; 1 Large White; 2 Speckled Wood (in Pudler’s Wood); 1 very tatty Ringlet; and 3 Holly Blue. Approaching the small pond at the southern tip of Well Wood I became aware of a substantial shadow flapping and gliding its way across the path. Looking up, I saw the owner – a Purple Emperor! It settled in the nearby Hornbeam tree, about 5m up, and sunned itself for a while before leaving and drifting about the adjacent oaks. I lost sight of it for a while but it then reappeared with, to my surprise, another Purple Emperor. They swooped languidly around each other a couple of times and then settled at separate locations in the foliage at the top of the tallest of the three adjacent oaks by the pond. After a couple more minutes, and not being equipped, like all good PE enthusiasts with folding chair, flask and bobble hat, I left for that cold beer I mentioned earlier. One happy bunny!”


A huge thank you to David and Butterfly Conservation (Herts and Middx Branch) for letting us know and passing on the photo.

Are you planning on coming to Countryfile Live this week? It is running at Blenheim Palace from Thursday 4th August to Sunday 7th August and the Woodland Trust will be there.

Amongst all the hustle and bustle, we will be hosting our own #TreeParty picnic in our Tipi’s. Come and say hello and try your hand at willow weaving, tree dressing, and our forest school or make some bug hotels for all the woodlice and spiders that are burrowed in your garden.

We also have games and activities for you to enjoy. We want to get you back to nature and there are plenty of ways to do it. Why not pick up one of our picnic packs and enjoy a picnic in the great outdoors?

For further details, go to:


We hope to see you there!



Do you know any teenagers who are interested in yoga? There is a yoga festival for teenagers at Heartwood Forest on the 23rd August.

For further details or to book, please go to the website http://www.yoga-expressions.info/.

Yoga festival

Congratulations – and thank you – to all who joined the Teddy Bears’ Picnic on Saturday – your bears (and dogs etc!) looked amazing! The theme was royal or historical characters. Here are a few photos of the fantastic event:

And a special “Well Done” to the winners!

JMP 20160709 Heartwood Forest Festival 2016 (48 of 109)

Yesterday Heartwood Forest put on a spectacular event with fun for everyone. The rain held off and the sun shone – we certainly couldn’t have wished for better! There was so much to see and do. Stalls of arts and crafts, demonstrations from blacksmiths and beekeepers, as well as countless activities to try and competitions to win.



Plants for sale at the Woodland Trust shop


The stunning photography exhibition


Visitors enjoying a willow weaving activity


Creating a masterpiece with natural materials

Everywhere I went, the environment was buzzing. Children ran by clutching ice creams and dogs span in circles – summer was finally in the air. An event such as this attracts families from all around, giving Heartwood Forest well deserved attention and donation as well as providing the perfect day out.


The Great Heartwood Bake Off was a success, with some truly stunning entrants such as the cakes above. Once the judging had taken place and the certificates awarded, the donations were sold. I was lucky enough to enjoy a slice of one of the winners!


Some of the farm animals on show


A live-capture Longworth trap and bait, a humane way of catching small rodents to study


Discovering fungi species


A volunteer dissecting owl pellets in the wildlife zone


I spent a lot of the day helping out in the wildlife zone, where there was lots to capture the kids’ imagination. Volunteer Claudia took the wildlife explorers out on mini beast safaris, where armed with nets and identification guides they discovered all sorts of creepy-crawlies. There were quizzes on bees, real butterflies to study and beautiful drawings to colour in by volunteer Chloe.


The queen honeybee specimen was a favourite among the colouring enthusiasts


The colouring in wasn’t just for kids!

Here are two of the many visitors to the wildlife zone. Don’t forget to send us a photo of your finished colouring in sheet at heartwood@woodlandtrust.org.uk to enter the competition!

Amidst all the cake baking and willow weaving we mustn’t forget the fun run! Congratulations to all the winners and a huge well done to everyone who took part. Here are the results:

Junior race:
1st – Victoria Pritchard
2nd – Rachel Harris
3rd – Rosie Harris
4th – Toby Pritchard
5th – Philippa Pritchard

Senior race:
1st – Hayden Williams
2nd – Edric Williams
3rd – Kieran Champion
4th – Kerry Clarke
5th – Steve Walsh
6th – Helen Williams
7th – Chau Lee
8th – Andy Singleton
9th – Tony Hemmings

Thank you to everyone who came to the Summer Festival. It was a fantastic event that helped support the Woodland Trust. Thank you also to everyone who entered the competitions, from the dog show to the Bake Off and more. Here’s to the Summer Festival next year!

Are you coming along to the Heartwood Festival tomorrow?

There are activities for everyone, from yoga to woodland crafts. There will be blacksmithing and woodcraft demonstrations and the opportunity to see master craftsmen at work. Have a go at willow weaving, make a woodland picture, enjoy the guided walk around Heartwood Forest.

There is face painting available, and an assault course and bouncy castle for the children too. Alternatively they can show off their football skills in the sports area. How about going on a minibeast safari (available at set times during the day, starting from the Wildlife Zone), or would you like to meet up with some friendly farm animals that have come to visit?

You can find out about the wildlife monitoring that is constantly going on at Heartwood and see how it has developed since the first public planting in 2009.

You could join in with the 5k Fun Run (or walk!), the Bake Off, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic and the Dog Show.

Entry to the Fun Run costs £7 in advance, £10 on the day, £2 for the under 16s. Entry will be free for runners who gain sponsorship in support of Heartwood Forest. Please contact us by email at heartwood@woodlandtrust.org.uk for further details and a sponsorship form. There is even a prize for the most ludicrous costume!

You can treat yourself to champagne and strawberries, a piece of cake or a refreshing ice cream. Bring a picnic and enjoy the views, or buy something for lunch from the stall on site.

All of this is happening in the field behind Langley Wood at Heartwood Forest. There will be car parking available in the main car park and off Sandridgebury Lane (this is closer to the festival site than the Heartwood Forest car park and will be signed off the main road).

We are hoping for good weather, but whatever the weather brings, there will be plenty to do and enjoy. The fun starts at 10am and goes on until 3pm. You can find more information at  woodlandtrust.co.uk/heartwoodfestival.

We hope to see you there!

Summer festival

It’s time to get those teddy bears all spruced up and ready for their outing at the Heartwood Festival!

Everyone knows teddy bears loves picnics, especially when they’re allowed to dress up! In honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, the fancy dress theme at the picnic this year is royal or historical characters. Bring along your teddy bear in its best royal fancy dress and you could win a prize!


These two wonderful characters came along to the Teddy Bear’s Picnic in 2014.

The picnic starts at 12.15pm and judging is at 12.30pm.

We hope to see you there!

Summer festival


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