Category Archives: News

Peacock taking up position

Roaming Peacocks

We are fortunate on Molewood to be surrounded by woodland and farmland and as a result many of us enjoy an abundance of native birds in our back garden.

In recent years we have also been visited by rare migratory species feeding on the berries in trees or on occasion, you can gaze into the sky and admire the Kites floating over our rooftops.

Pass through Cowper Crescent on a regular basis and there’s a good chance that you’ll meet a rare and beautiful bird; the Peacock. The Peacock is not a native species to the UK and this group (an Ostentation) of Peacocks, numbering 9 birds belongs to Molewood Hall. For visitors passing through the top end of Cowper this is a novel sight and beautiful spectacle, rumour has it that the 333 bus has even slowed for sitings.

Sadly, for many residents with houses in their territory these beautiful birds have become a nuisance; eating bedding plants and bulbs rising through the frosty ground. Defacating on patios and pathways – leaving parents concerned for spring and time in the garden. As the committee we’ve been asked to discuss the issue with the owners and we’re keen to understand your perspective. Please contact Ben Penrose at 104 Cowper Crescent with your views.

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Poems for 2015

Joan Cook, a long time resident of Bengeo, was asked if she would write a poem which we could place on the website and in the newsletter. We not only have one poem, but two for you to enjoy. We wish Joan all the best for her 94th birthday this year.

2015
Christmas time has been and gone
Was simply lovely, nothing wrong
Next it will be Easter time
With lots of Easter Eggs devine

Just fancy – I’ll be ninety four
I wonder what life has in store ?
Perhaps it’s better not to know
For my old legs can hurt me so

Spring is coming – such a sight
Where lovely flowers give such delight
And dormant buds upon the trees
Burst into leaves for all to see

Then it’s Summer time again
Picnics – Holidays – not much rain
Alot of people go abroad
Not me – I’m seldom ever bored

Then Autumn colours of the trees
Change for all of us to see
Surely in a month or two
It’s Christmas time for us to view

I can’t believe another year
Was past us by – It’s all so queer
But Mother nature will always be
There for us to love and see

Life
I really don’t know what to say
Now 2015’s come my way
For this year I’ll be ninety four
Gosh! Wonder what it has in store?
A nice new leg that didn’t hurt
Would help me in my daily work
But there again I expect I’ll see
Someone else much worse than me
When I look back to childhood days
There really was alot to praise
Dad was a Butler, Mum was a cook
T’was like living in a story book
In a beautiful Cotswold Rambling home
With six months by Kensington Palace to roam
Food rationing really didn’t help
One had to tighten up ones belt
In village school two miles away
We crossed fields in Summer – In Winter road way
A bucket toilet was all we had
Newspaper on hook for which we were glad
I find it very hard to think
Why the Ink Monitor always spilt the ink
So I got it on my hands in vain
Which ended with my getting the cane
So six month country, six month town
One brought a smile, one a frown
But it taught me to accept things
What ever life decides to bring
So “thankyou” and I’ll carry on
Until the day when I am gone
To date I live in Bengeo
Would I change it ? No, no, no

Sacombe Rd Field

We Need You…

In recent weeks you may have read in the Mercury about the building of houses on a common in Sele Farm by Riversmead and East Herts District Council.

We are keen to avoid a similar situation in Molewood in the future and are looking towards an application to Town Green status for the Parkland in Sacombe Road.

To do this we need the support of residents through either time, energy or expertise. Please contact us here if you are interested in helping out.

You can see the story from the Mercury here.

New School Crossing Patrol Officer

Mrs Boyd

Mrs Boyd

A school crossing patrol officer has been found for Bengeo Primary School. Nina Boyd has been patrolling the crossing since the 12th January. Many children from the school will recognise Mrs Boyd as she is also a dinner lady for KS1.

There is some key advice for parents and children when crossing at a patrol site:

 

  • Wait at the kerb
  • Don’t follow the patrol out into the road
  • Only walk across when the patrol tells you
  • Always walk in front of the patrol, not behind
  • Do not cycle or use a scooter whilst crossing, always walk

In addition, as a reminder for motorists, it is an offence not to stop when signalled to do so by a school crossing patrol officer.

Port Hill Traffic Lights Update

Port Hill Lights

Port Hill Lights

It looks as though work will begin on the Port Hill traffic lights this Summer. This work is part of a larger strategy to improve pedestrian access within Hertford, and further details can be found in the pdfs here and here.

There have been objections to the plan from some residents who live near to the proposed crossing, and County Councillor Andrew Stevenson has written a letter explaining the reasons why the location was chosen. You can read this letter below.

The scheme for the installation of the Port Hill pedestrian crossing is part
of a larger strategy to improve pedestrian access within Hertford, and
includes a pedestrian/cycling route around the Sainsbury’s site linking to
the town centre which has already been delivered (see attached plan for
reference). The scheme is being funded from S106 monies negotiated to
improve pedestrian facilities in mitigation for the transport impact of the
Sainsbury’s development. Traffic surveys undertaken pre and post
construction of the Sainsbury’s site show an increase in traffic volumes and
queuing on the B158 (Port Hill). Prior to our involvement on this scheme,
and subsequent consultation, local residents had campaigned to the County
Council for the installation of a safe crossing at this location to provide
improved access to local schools and nursery facilities.

The crossing proposals have been the subject of a detailed feasibility study
which investigated a large number of alternative crossing locations along
Port Hill and Cowbridge (B158). This included the feasibility of installing
a pedestrian route underneath the old Port Hill railway bridge and the
installation of a crossing point on the apex of the bridge. Each of the
alternative proposals was considered in detail and found to be unsuitable
due to various technical difficulties associated with the need to install
facilities which comply with Highways safety and design standards.

We therefore concluded that the current proposed location for the ‘Puffin’
crossing on Port Hill offers the best solution within the constraints
imposed by the highway alignment and surrounding buildings. The proposals
were the subject of a consultation exercise conducted in August 2014 which
was distributed to over 1,000 properties across the areas of west Hertford
and Bengeo which suffer a degree of severance from the town centre due to
the volume of traffic using the B158. The design incorporates various
measures designed to address issues raised during the consultation exercise
regarding sight-lines and traffic speeds. The concerns of the adjacent
residents in regard to possible light and noise pollution will be addressed
within the detailed design stage of the scheme. Methods which could be
employed involve the use of shrouds on the traffic signals and the removal
or reduction of the audible signal as necessary.

Concerns were also raised in regard to the reduction of available parking
spaces associated with the crossing installation and we feel that this is
the key reason why residents in the immediate vicinity raise objections to
the scheme. This has been estimated as equivalent to 7 car parking spaces.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the area is regularly used by workers from
local businesses, which has an obvious impact on the level of parking
available to the residents. Prior to the crossing proposals East Herts
District Council conducted two consultations on proposals for a residents’
parking permit scheme on Port Hill. We understand that on both occasions the
scheme was rejected.

While we recognise the effect of the proposals upon the availability of
parking in the immediate area, we consider that the proposed crossing
installation will provide greater value to a far larger section of the
community in terms of the safety and accessibility benefits afforded. The
Consultation was distributed to over 1000 properties, and 136 responses were
recorded with 110 in support and 19 against. A decision has therefore been
made to proceed with the crossing and formal orders have now been published.
We anticipate that the construction would be scheduled to take advantage of
this year’s school summer holidays. We feel that the proposed solution
strikes the right balance in achieving the County Council’s aims to improve
sustainable travel whilst taking on-board a wide array of views, both
in-house technical views and those of the residents which includes likely
users of the facility from a wider area as well as residents in the
immediate vicinity.

Some preliminary engineering work is being done to ascertain where
underground essential services lie that might interfere with the work.
The main civil engineering work is planned for the school holidays.

On balance I feel that investment in improved walking routes that improve
safety in crossing the B158 and help slow down traffic is a positive step
for the majority of Bengeo residents although I accept the location may not
be welcome by those who live immediately adjacent to the crossing. However
the current situation is increasingly dangerous for people trying to cross
into Hartham from the half of the other side of the B158 ­especially for
mothers with small children, elderly people ­or indeed anyone as the
traffic speeds there seem to increase year by year.

Waterford Heath

Waterford Heath nature reserve update

Waterford Heath

Waterford Heath

Below is the Winter 2014 newsletter from Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. If you’d like to see what they do, or get involved, you can visit their website here.

 

The soil covering the black barns foundations has been raked down to smooth the ground out. In addition the grass and goats rue on the south heath has been flail mowed by Lafarge Tarmac.

Volunteer works
There have been 3 work parties on the heath in the past 3 months. These have averaged around 6 volunteers each and have achieved the following:

  • A new bench has been installed in Great Molewood
  • A large section of scrub has been cut back on one of the prime Grizzled skipper areas on the south heath
  • All the paths on site have been cut back to provide better access
  • The whole site has been surveyed for dangerous trees
  • Work has started on making safe the trees identified in the survey
  • One of the kissing gates onto Sacombe road was repaired

Future Works
Some of the dangerous trees on site in Great Molewood will be dealt with by contractors. In addition, the volunteers will be carrying out the following tasks:

  • Further scrub will be removed from the grizzled skipper areas
  • The remaining dangerous tree works will be completed
  • A mink raft will be installed in the River Beane (still awaiting EA approval)

If you would like to get involved with the site please get in contact and I will put you in touch with the appropriate warden:

North Heath – Marcella Randall
South Heath – Andrew Wood
Great Molewood – Steve Kiln

Andy Brown
Reserves Officer HMWT
Mob: 07787 528804 Email: Andy.Brown@hmwt.org

Bengeo’s 333 Bus Service Continues

sunday_busThe 333 bus which serves Bengeo has been given a reprieve to keep running on Sundays for a further two years.

Bengeo Town and District Councillor Peter Ruffles has been instrumental in ensuring the service is retained on Sundays, but is urging local residents to make use of the service so that it continues to be available for everyone into the future.

 

It really is a case of ‘use it or lose it!’

TV Participants Needed

This is an amendment. The Molewood Residents’ Association has been approached by Kimberly Godbolt at Windfall Films, who has asked if there are any participants willing to apply for their latest Channel 4 production. Their email states:
“We’re working on a pilot documentary series for Channel 4, which will make an innovative dispute resolution process available to people with community, business, family and consumer disputes for the first time. With court fees having just risen significantly and small claims taking an average of 31 weeks to get a court date, the aim is to de-mystify the legal world and facilitate a new, efficient process for people wanting to sort out difficult disputes.

We’re looking for parties considering court to go through this process for our pilot. It could be anything from a landlord / tenant issue, a consumer dispute , money claims from friends or family, but it is best suited to cases where individuals, and not large companies or organisations are involved.

The process will be authentic, legally-binding and free for the parties, and although it’s being filmed, the pilot is not intended for broadcast.”
If anyone is interested in applying they are able to contact Kimberly at kimberlygodbolt@windfallfilms.com.

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Who to speak to about fruit fall

fruit_fallThere have been reports of fruit fall causing problems on the roads and pavements in the area. If you have a problem with the pavement and believe cleansing is required you can contact the East Herts environmental services on 01279 655216, or email operations.admin@eastherts.gov.uk.

Some of the tree branches hang dangerously low when laden with fruit. If you see this happening you can log it as a hazard with HCC Highways by calling 0300 123 4047 or logging it online at www.hertsdirect.org/faultreporting/.