Missing website

Apologies if you missed the FoBH website over the last two weeks.  It was hacked, and when this happens, you don’t want to be in Russia on the first day of a holiday as I was. Nearly all of the content was recovered from backups, but it can be a tedious, complex process.  Rod

Posted in Vandalism

Guided Walk around the Heath 2017

Unfortunately, 10th September’s Guided Walk has been cancelled because of illness. You can read a guide here and see some pictures of the route here.

Posted in Ariston site, Beech Bottom Dyke, Features, History, Photos, Trees, Wastes

Travellers back again

Travellers make a very unwanted return to the old Fire Station site following a recent earlier break in. They moved sturdy fencing and heavy blocks to dump more rubbish.  See above and below.  Update: it has been cleared again at considerable cost to SADC. Read more ›

Posted in Vandalism

Parking improvement on Sandridge Road Wastes

The Sandridge Road Wastes are the grassed areas on both sides of this road designated as Common Land.  Parking is a major problem on the road, especially between Boundary Road and Bernards Heath Primary School, the area marked in blue in the map below.

parking0

Read more ›

Posted in Maintenance, Wastes

Traveller occupation of the old fire station area ends

travellers_area

Google aerial view of the site, early 2017. The area that was under occupation is superimposed in red.

We learnt with some concern this week that travellers had broken into the area behind the old fire station, just off Harpenden Road. It was fenced off and locked, but force had been used to gain entry. Read more ›

Posted in Ariston site, Litter

Beech Bottom Dyke tidy up

actionday7_0417

Sunny weather on Sunday 23 April may have helped us, for about a dozen people turned out to remove litter (see inset) and clear growth around the top of the Dyke. The bluebells made it a picture and their smell was wonderful, especially at the eastern end of the Dyke, near the railway. Only native bluebells smell so strongly. Well done everyone who helped.

Posted in Action Days, Beech Bottom Dyke, Litter

In memory of Peter Butcher

peter_butcher

At the end of January Bernards Heath lost Peter Butcher, almost certainly its oldest resident.  Ninety two years old, he had lived all his life in Upper Culver Road, bar military service at the end of WW II. At one time Butchers were to be found at several addresses in the streets to the east of the Heath. Their occupational speciality was well-sinking. After leaving the army Peter briefly tried the family business, then shoe-making, the Ariston suet factory on the Heath, finally settling for aircraft at de Havillands, Hatfield, for the rest of his working life. Read more ›

Posted in Bequests

Native and Spanish bluebells

bluebell_types

Bluebells have appeared on the Heath early this year and there are two general types – native and Spanish, but can you tell the difference?  The picture (above left} shows the Spanish type which is more prolific with upright stems, no scent and bell-shaped flowers with open tips.

The native type on the right have a droop at the top, a sweet perfume and narrow bell-shaped flowers with rolled back tips.

Photos: MN

Posted in Photos

Oak Processionary Moth update

oak_processionary_moth

Left – nest on trunk, Right – cluster of moths

We reported on the Oak Processionary Moth last year, which can defoliate trees, especially oak. As far as we know, none have been seen on the Heath and the nearest outbreak was in Watford.  Contact with these moths should be avoided because they have irritating spines which can cause an allergic reaction. They are likely to emerge in early April.

For a fuller account of this moth, see the Forestry Commission update.

 

Posted in Safety, Trees, Wildlife

Storm Doris – trees suffering

luton_lane_clearance

This heavy branch (top photo) )was left across the track from Townsend Drive to the Ancient Briton as the result of Storm Doris. Our chainsaw was faulty, so we were reduced to muscle power and bow saws (inset).  As a result this precariously perched branch was moved out of the way.  A fallen tree in Harpenden Road caused traffic to be diverted to Townsend Drive/Waverley Road on Saturday afternoon.

Posted in Maintenance, Trees