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

Action Day November 2016


Some of the volunteers who helped to clear out the old WW2 fire fighting water tank on Sunday, 27th November also unearthed a bottle of champagne (inset).   We’ve previously found a full bottle of gin during a clear up and there are probably more hidden caches – what next? Read more ›

Posted in Action Days, Litter

Autumn Action Day – Clearance work at Beech Bottom Dyke


Despite heavy rain on the morning of Sunday 16th October, an intrepid group of volunteers were able to clear large areas of brambles adjacent to the path on the southern side of the Dyke.  This clearance work not only makes the the path more accessible, but gives clear views to the bottom of the Dyke. It may also provide more ventilation to the Dyke and reduce its boggy nature at certain points. Read more ›

Posted in Action Days, Beech Bottom Dyke

One year has elapsed since Fontmell Close sinkhole event


Location of sinkhole in Fontmell Close.

The news of a sinkhole in Fontmell Close, which appeared dramatically in the early hours of the 1st October 2015, rapidly hit the national media. Not only were residents stranded in Fontmell Close and Bridle Close, but the event prompted a long sequence of investigations on the adjacent Bernards Heath and the construction of a relief road across the Lower Field.

The 12m hole has been partially filled with concrete and most services restored. You can read a press release by the Herts County Council, who hope to have the road through Fontmell Close open again by Christmas.

There is no news yet about the removal of the temporary road across the Lower Field.

There are more links to the sinkhole in our document archive.

Posted in Ariston site, Fontmell, Play area

Thunderstorm over Bernards Heath area


A thunderstorm on the 16th September over Bernards Heath broke the long spell of relatively dry weather in July, August and September, when local gardens and the Heath were looking parched.  We’ve only been measuring rainfall and temperature over the last 2½ years, but this was a record.  You can find our data here.

Posted in Weather

Cyclamen – an unexpected delight


These hardy, but small, cyclamen flowers usually appear in autumn and winter and were found in a shady spot on the western side of the Heath.

Posted in Photos

News and Links

fobh_logo_button    facebook_logo    twitter_logo
Recent Updates
FoBH Statement of Accounts Sept 2016

Newsletter Spring 2017

A Guide to Beech Bottom Dyke
by Peter Burley
tortoiseshell butterfly
27th March 2017
Now appearing on the Heath
Tortoiseshell Butterfly.

Photo: MN

Ariston link
join_us 2017 subscriptions now due

FoBH MugsMugs available from the Heath Bakery (Londis) at £5 each

newsletter_sample More Links