Local businesses support action on fly tipping at Soothouse Spring


Left to right: William Naylor of Buttle’s Building Supplies, with Peter Cook and Rod Keat, Friends of Bernards Heath

Bernards Heath is a unique, widely used public space in St Albans. Close to the centre of town, it provides attractive open spaces and woodland of historic interest, quite unlike parks in the city.

Unfortunately, its very nature lends itself to to unsightly fly tipping. Recently, it has happened in nearby Soothouse Spring, next to Beech Bottom Dyke, an impressive ancient earthwork, which the Friends of Bernards Heath has opened up and tried to keep litter free.  Fortunately, two local businesses, Buttle’s Building Supplies and A1 Tools and Fixings, have jointly supported the installation of a substantial fence alongside the Dyke to deter follow-up incidents. The area is now covered by surveillance cameras. Read more ›

Posted in Beech Bottom Dyke, Litter

Townsend Drive parking


Until now it’s been almost impossible to find a parking space in Townsend Drive, Palfrey Close or Waverley Road because of all day parking. Bernards Heath is on the right-hand side of the photo.

The introduction this week of a controlled parking zone (see inset) has had a dramatic effect. In the afternoons when parking is unrestricted, there are usually spaces.

Posted in Townsend Drive

The Lower Heath – what’s happening now?


The Lower Heath, with dark track showing the remains of the temporary access road (February 2017).

We were very grateful to everyone who contacted the press and their local Councillors when we got the shock news, only a week ahead of the Cabinet Panel meeting on 9 December, that Hertfordshire County Council (“HCC”) was going back on its previous decision in 2014 to support discussions with the District Council to transfer the Lower Heath to them. Read more ›

Posted in Ariston site, Education, Fontmell

Beating the Bounds

beating_bounds_drawingA walk around the parish of St Saviour’s, Sandpit Lane conducted by local historian Peter Burley.

Meet at the hall, 25 Sandpit Lane at 2.00 pm
on Sunday 19th February.

The walk will be followed by tea and a talk in the hall at 3.30 pm. You are welcome to arrive in time for the talk.
It will not cover the whole boundary, that would be too ambitious, but the eastern third of the parish going from the church via the Wick and back again along Marshal’s Drive.

This is a valedictory event for Father Peter at St Saviour’s and all are welcome.
Download a poster here (pdf)

Posted in History

Farewell to the temporary road


Work on the removal of hundreds of tons of sand and hardcore which made up the road across the Lower Field has been going ahead this week and it looks as if it will be completed next week beginning 30th January.   Material is being transported to the old fire station yard before removal from the site. Read more ›

Posted in Ariston site, Fontmell

Early morning on the Heath

2017-01-17-08.40.58 on the Upper Field

8.40 am, 17th January 2017  – frost on the Upper Field                                                Photo: MN

Read more ›

Posted in Photos



Posted in Milestones, Weather

Please help us to save the Lower Field

URGENT – Action needed before Friday 9 December

We promised to post our response to the County Council’s bombshell last Friday – and here it is.

Remember that the County Council can give itself planning permission for school building – so if they decide to retain the Lower Field as a school site and sell off the rest of the site for housing in Spring 2017, there may be no further opportunity to make the case

Please, please, contact Roma Mills (County Councillor) [Roma.Mills@hertfordshire.gov.uk] or Christopher Hayward (Chairman, Resources & Performance Cabinet Panel) [Christopher.Hayward@hertfordshire.gov.uk] and Richard Curthoys [Cllr.R Curthoys@stalbans.gov.uk] to make your views known before the Panel meeting on Friday morning

Here’s the Friends response to the report to the Resources & Performance Cabinet Panel.  Read more ›

Posted in Ariston site, Education

Lower Heath under threat again!

We need your help

We heard last Friday (2 December) that the County Council will put the old fire station site off Harpenden Road (“the Ariston Site”) on the market for housing in Spring 2017.


The white broken line marks the boundary of the Lower Field. A temporary road now crosses the field following the sinkhole event.

At the same time, the Council is going back on the plan to transfer the Lower Field to the District Council to retain it as part of Bernards Heath open space in perpetuity, and instead wants to earmark the Lower Field as a 2 form entry primary school site – adding an additional 420 children up and down Harpenden Road during the school run.

The Friends of Bernards Heath believe the sensible place for a new school (if indeed one is needed) would be in the vicinity of the fire station, currently earmarked for more houses.

We’ve been campaigning for nearly twenty years for the Lower Field to be recognised as a full part of Bernards Heath alongside the registered common – and for the past fifteen years following the Village Green Inquiry, that’s been the District Council’s view too.

You can read HCC’s report here and the plans of what’s proposed here

We’ll be putting our case in more detail on our website in the next few days, but in the meantime, please make your views known to our county and district councillors before the Cabinet Panel meeting on Friday 9 December. Their contact details are:

County Councillors (click on the link to email)

Councillor for email phone
Roma Mills County Councillor St Albans North roma.mills@btinternet.com 01727 837319
Chris Hayward Chairman – Resources & Performance Cabinet Panel chris.hayward@hertfordshire.gov.uk 01923 291574

District Councillors (click on the link to email)

Councillor for email phone
Richard Curthoys Marshalswick South Cllr.R.Curthoys@stalbans.gov.uk 01923 675924 or 07896786485
Salih Gaygusuz Marshalswick South cllr.s.gaygusuz@stalbans.gov.uk 01727 858289
Steve McKeown Marshalswick South Cllr.S.McKeown@stalbans.gov.uk 07980 101206
Malachy Pakenham Batchwood cllr.m.pakenham@stalbans.gov.uk 01727 868247
Tim Smith Batchwood cllr.t.smith@stalbans.gov.uk 07966 241934
Roma Mills Batchwood Roma.mills@btinternet.com 01727 837319



Posted in Ariston site

Fontmell Close open again


It must be a great relief to residents of Fontmell and Bridle close that almost all traces of the sinkhole have gone after 14 months of repair works.  The Grand Opening is on Saturday, 3rd December.

FoBH looks forward to the removal of the temporary road across the Lower Heath, scheduled for early next year.

Posted in Fontmell

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Recent Updates
Newsletter Spring 2017

A Guide to Beech Bottom Dyke
by Peter Burley

striped_branch Do you know what these stripes are for? They have appeared in several places on Bernards Heath and Beech Bottom Dyke. If you know, please let us know by clicking FoBH mail above.

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