If you've registered on the Home page to receive Open Spaces News, you will receive an automatic announcement when new material is placed here.
Working party at East Lane Car Park - September 12th, 2015
As part of a wider plan to improve the river as it passes through Wheathampstead from East Hyde to Waterend, the volunteers spent two sessions in September clearing the south bank and overhanging branches at East Lane Car Park (ELCP). By letting more light into the river it improves the health of the flora and fauna. It is important to keep vegetation on the bank and also provide perches for the Kingfishers and Grey Wagtails frequently seen along this stretch. The work has also impoved visibility of the river and it has created a good view back to the Mill in the High Street. The Parish Council is planning to put in a bench along the bank and improve signage so that users can better enjoy the river.
The images below show the "before" and "after" effect of the work.
Looking downstream from the youth shelter (before and after)
Looking upstream to the Mill (before and after)
Working party at Gustard Wood - March 11th, 2015
The volunteers have cleared one of the main paths at the southern entry to the Parish Council's land and improved the vegetation and light penetration. Invasive holly was also removed. The left-hand image was taken before the work started and the right-hand image after the work was completed and exposing an ancient boundary bank.
Apart from opening up an ancient holloway, the work revealed a bounday created by "hedge laying". Hedge laying is a way of creating a fence or boundary using live wood. Holloways often had layed hedges to stop animals leaving the path. This site in Gustard wood shows evidence of hedge laying going back possibly more than 100 years. Compare the two images below - the newly layed hedge can be seen in the Meads by the Scout Hut while the second picture taken at Gustard Wood shows the remnants of a layed hedge (possibly more than 100 years old) that has been neglected for a long time but still shows how the saplings were bent to form the barrier - these have long since matured into trees and grown thick and tall.
The final image shows the holloway looking South.