Travellers back on the Heath

After an absence of about 14 months, yet another group of travellers has come back to the Heath, Upper Field. Some of them appear to be have been here before. In spite of efforts by the Friends of Bernards Heath to get the Council to put in measures to stop this, nothing has happened, with the result that the costs of clearing up are steadily mounting and local children are denied access to their local play area (centre photo).

14.8.20: Fortunately, these travellers have moved on after after very quick action by officers, threating bailiff removal.

Posted in Travellers

Second Depression on the Lower field

A second depression or pit, close to the hedge on the northern side of the Lower field has been apparent for some time. The small size of the pit is in contrast with the relatively large area of enclosed by a new fence – perhaps there is more to this than we know. At least this fence is green and blends in with the surroundings. Read more ›

Posted in Safety, Sinkholes

Woodpeckers on the Heath

Woodpecker with fledgling just behind parent.

Earlier this year, some visitors to the Heath will have heard a woodpecker and word of a nest soon got around in May. This bird chose to make use of a hole in an ash tree and if you look carefully at the photo you will see one of the young looking out. With a large powerful beak, it looks like a great spotted woodpecker.

Remarkably, it stayed in place when a very large branch fell off the tree, which has now been cut up. The young birds have now fledged.

Photo: Keith Morgan

Posted in Birds

Lockdown – Busy times on the Heath

The cherry blossom on the Heath and Sandridge Road Wastes is really beautiful this year – Photo: MN

We have now been in ‘Lockdown’ since March 23rd and since then the Heath has been very much busier than normal. Sunny weather has encouraged walkers, joggers and cyclists (often with children) to take advantage of what the Heath offers – it’s just like a weekend every day. The recently installed interpretation boards are also getting attention. The bluebells in Beech Bottom Dyke are also worth seeing, especially at the end near the railway.

While it’s good to see the Heath playing its part in providing a distraction from worries about Covid 19 and its consequences, it’s also apparent that there is less careless litter than might be expected for high summer. O’Conner the maintenance contractors have generally done a good job in clearing bins and cutting grass. Sadly, John O’Conner, the founder of the company, died in March partly as a consequence of Covid 19 infection.

Posted in Covid 19, Maintenance

Tree planting




While big trees have been tumbling, the Friends of Bernards Heath have been busy planting young ones (easy to spot because they are supported by stakes) which you may have seen last autumn. This flowering cherry tree was planted recently, not far from the play area.

Photo: MN

Posted in Trees

Can you help us?

Could you minute meetings and type them up? Perhaps, you also value the amenity value of the Heath, which is well used throughout the year and would like to help on a voluntary basis.
If so, The Friends of Bernards Heath, a group of volunteers, would welcome your help at four committee meetings and an AGM each year. Find out more about what we do here and if you are interested, please contact the link FoBH mail on the right.

Posted in AGM, Volunteers

Dates for your Diary

Posted in Action Days, AGM

Storm Ciara takes its Toll

This large tree fell on a path during Storm Ciara on Sunday, February 9th. The path is the second on the right after entering Spinney Lane (see arrow on map alongside) and it is blocking the path, unless you are really determined to get through!  Now cleared! It was on the big side for the Friends to clear, so the Council has been informed. No doubt they have plenty of debris to clear – hopefully they will be able to get to it soon. Read more ›

Posted in Trees, Weather

Bernards Heath Play Area

Click for a larger copy


Let’s Play on Bernards Heath is a charity founded to update the existing play area on the Heath.

This is your opportunity to influence the look of the playground , get involved and chat to our Trustees and St Albans District Council.

Kids welcome too! We have wooden games, sweets and refreshments available.

Saturday, 1st February 2020
St Saviours Church Hall
       2 -4 pm


Posted in Play area

Lower Field gets another Survey

Survey work in the fenced off area

Following the emergence of a depression in the Lower Field, and its further subsidence, survey work was started on the 20th January. The ground features in this area, once a rubbish tip, were extensively explored some two years ago.

Read more ›

Posted in Ariston site, Maintenance