Author Topic: Leach Fields footpaths  (Read 129243 times)

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Offline Bobb

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #90 on: March 26, 2009, 03:33:49 pm »
does anyone know how to get hold of the PCSO's?

If there is lots of parking on Bluebridge then it's probably going to be dangerous around the school run time - esp if they are on the pavement.
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #91 on: March 26, 2009, 03:43:47 pm »
in addition to the hedgerows, at least one tree seems to have come up.

One of my neighbours backing Leach Fields says that from what she can see they are also tearing sturdy 6ft saplings out, the trees of the future! It's as if they want to lay waste to the area!
 

Offline Bobb

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #92 on: March 26, 2009, 04:09:38 pm »
Hi,

I've had the below email back from David Wardell:

Hi Robert and Mrs Axxxxxxxx,
Thank you very much for contacting us and accept my apologies for replying to both of you in one email. Myself and Louise Luxford have visited the area today and spoke with a company representative. A message will be going out on Owl and the local forum website asking people for any local records they may have of the area. This could include pictures, logs kept by wildlife fans or anything that might assist in a future police investigation.
I visited the site today and told the contract manager what was acceptable. They have agreed that they will not touch any well established hedges, thick hedgerow or large or thick coppice. I have said that they can remove the odd patches of 2 - 3 foot high bramble that dot the area but not the thicker more established areas of bramble. They may move the odd small sapling where they are happy there is no nesting taking place They have stated that if they do then they will do their best to replant them in a more suitable area.
The pond has gone. It was a man made pond and now there is no evidence of what was there. This is where local reports/pictures will come in handy. If someone had good evidence that there were great crested newts in that pond then that would change matters greatly.
What I am not interested in is where people are laying claim to land or land access. This will be a civil matter.
Please pass this email on to anyone you feel may be able to assist.
I am not aware that this particular area has been set aside as a site of specific scientific interest but if any of you could guide me on that I will be happy to accept it. I am aware that nesting birds are heavily protected and I have successfully prosecuted a developer previously for this. I am keen to add that this company are not looking to develop the land - at least that is what they have said, although I doubt very much they would get permission to do this anyway. The reason for clearing up the land is for use for animal grazing which will include ensuring the boundaries are proper as any livestock owner should.
I am now away until Monday so if you need to contact us regarding this matter please email Louise whose email is included. Alternatively please contact 0845 3300222 if this is of a non urgent matter and ask for the log to be forwarded to Louise or myself.
 
Many thanks,
 
Dave.
 
Dave Wardell
Hatfield Rural Neighbourhood Team
Comet Way
Hatfield
AL10 9SJ
01707 806944
07814016831
 

Offline AnneK

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #93 on: March 26, 2009, 04:34:05 pm »
Well done, Bobb and Mermaid, and a big thanks to Dave Wardell and Louise Luxford for investigating so quickly.

I'm not entirely convinced by Leach Homes' claim that it only wishes to clear the land and secure the boundaries for grazing - if the company's intentions were so benign, why didn't a representative just come out and say what was happening from the beginning? - but perhaps the Welwyn Hatfield Times can get to the bottom of it. I gave the news desk a bell this afternoon, and I'm sure they'll have a good dig around.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 05:36:41 pm by AnneK »
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #94 on: March 26, 2009, 05:07:50 pm »
I'm sure they'll have a good dig around.

I think Leach Homes are already doing that  :icon_jokercolor:
 

Offline AnneK

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #95 on: March 26, 2009, 05:34:29 pm »
 :)
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #96 on: March 26, 2009, 05:58:52 pm »
Evidence of nature conservation sought

Police are appealing to local residents to come forward with any local records they may have that indicate the importance of Leach Fields in terms of nature conservation.

They say such information may assist in a future police investigation.

"This could include pictures and logs kept by wildlife fans - this is where local reports/pictures will come in handy," PCSO Dave Wardell explained in an email to two of this site's forum users.

Click here for more details.
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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #97 on: March 26, 2009, 09:34:46 pm »
Full marks to the forum users who alerted police to reports that hedgerows were allegedly being removed. And full marks to the local PCSOs for responding to local concerns so quickly.

David
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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #98 on: March 27, 2009, 07:31:22 am »
A path through Gobions Woodland has been temporarily closed following "the destruction" of two footbridges earlier this week. Red and white tape now cordons off the popular path. Walkers are being advised to use alternative routes until the path can be made safe or an alternative route opened. Click here for more details.



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Offline PCSO Luxford

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #99 on: March 27, 2009, 10:53:03 am »
It has come to our attention that part of Gobions Open Space is under some changes. I have visited the site along with the wildlife officer, PC 1115 David Wardell.  David has advised the contractors of things they can and cannot do. They are allowed to clear brambles that are less than 2 - 3 foot high that are dotted around but not thicker areas of bramble, hedges or coppice. The occassional sapling can be removed as long as no birds are nesting in them. If they do up-root saplings then they will re-plant them in another position.

A man-made pond has been drained and unfortunately there is no evidence of what was there.  This is where local reports or pictures would come in handy. If anyone had any evidence that Great Crested Newts were living there then that would help. Any pictures of the area, or local records, this could be a wildlife enthusiasts records they have been keeping, or any informtation that could help in a future police investigation would be appreciated. What we are not interested in is people laying claim to land or access as this will be a civil matter.

If you feel you can help then please contact either PC1115 David Wardell at david (dot) wardell (at) herts (dot) pnn (dot) police (dot) uk, or myself, PCSO 6688 Louise Luxford at louise (dot) luxford (at) herts (dot) pnn (dot) police (dot) uk,  Alternatively you can ring the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222 and ask for either of us to made aware of your concerns.  Our direct telephone numbers are: 01707 806944 (PC Wardell) and 01707 806947 (PCSO Louise Luxford). Please bear in mind we are regularly out of the office.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 11:40:08 am by David Brewer »
PCSO, Louise Luxford, the police community support officer for Brookmans Park and Little Heath. For non-emergencies, please calll 0845 33 00222.
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #100 on: March 27, 2009, 11:39:10 am »
It has come to our attention that part of Gobions Open Space is under some changes.

Hi Louise,

Thanks for your posting. Just to be clear, the area in question is called the Leach Fields, not Gobions Open Space; the latter belongs to the Parish Council and is unaffected, so far, by recent events.

I have edited your post above to disguise your email addresses in order to protect you from spammers.

Regards

David
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Offline Mermaid

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #101 on: March 27, 2009, 12:16:06 pm »
I have just spoken to a Rights Of Way professional (Counsel and Expert Witness) and have been told something which I hadn't fully realised - it is the spread of years which is important, not that each person signing has to have at least 20 years regular use of the paths.

This means that even people with under 20 years regular use of the paths can fill in a form - MikeL's recent 15 years for example is just as valuable as my 31 years, ditto for someone else's 1 year and ditto for someone who might have left the area a while ago, but who used the paths regularly for the time they lived here.

I believe there are now some forms down in the Library, although I would like to collate them so that we make sure we've covered the right period adequately, and then we can send them in one batch (MikeL has kindly offered to do this).

 

Offline joebrownlie

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #102 on: March 27, 2009, 02:14:42 pm »
Brilliant news from Mermaid (what a sweet name!). I and my wife have used the paths for about 10 years; at least twice and usually three times a day. I also have some photos and will send them on to you.
 

Offline mannyd

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #103 on: March 27, 2009, 02:36:24 pm »
Anyone now know a safe route? One of the classes from Brookmans Park school were supposed to be walking up there next week - they usually access through the entrance on Bluebridge Road (near the Gardens turn off).... any safe route suggestions appreciated - they were supposed to be looking for signs of spring not signs of demolition or big plant machinery!
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #104 on: March 27, 2009, 02:46:16 pm »
I've just walked past the Leach Fields this afternoon and the tape cordoning off the path is no longer intact. The (dry today) stream that was crossed by the two destroyed bridges is easily passable. I don't think it makes a huge difference so the school trip shouldn't be too worried.

On the subject of the destroyed bridges presumably Leach Homes will either have to rebuild them or compensate GWT ?
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #105 on: March 27, 2009, 02:55:15 pm »
Anyone now know a safe route? One of the classes from Brookmans Park school were supposed to be walking up there next week - they usually access through the entrance on Bluebridge Road (near the Gardens turn off).... any safe route suggestions appreciated - they were supposed to be looking for signs of spring not signs of demolition or big plant machinery!

Can they just not go 10 metres further on and then down the footpath on the otherside of the stream and into Gobions that way? There is a metal railing alongside it to stop people falling into the stream bed - would have thought it would be fine.
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
I post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of North Mymms Parish Council
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #106 on: March 27, 2009, 04:12:43 pm »
Anyone now know a safe route? One of the classes from Brookmans Park school were supposed to be walking up there next week - they usually access through the entrance on Bluebridge Road (near the Gardens turn off).... any safe route suggestions appreciated - they were supposed to be looking for signs of spring not signs of demolition or big plant machinery!

Hi Mannyd,

You may want to print out some of the wildlife guides from this site to take with you. Click here for a list of pages of illustrations of local flora and fauna including birds, butterflies, herbs, shrubs, and fungi.

David
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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #107 on: March 27, 2009, 05:08:09 pm »
Quote
Can they just not go 10 metres further on and then down the footpath on the otherside of the stream

I wouldn't reccomend it for schoolchildren. That pavement over the bridge is about 20 inches wide with a brick wall alongside. To make matters worse, the road narrows at this point so if traffic is passing in both directions their wing mirrors are often overhanging the pavement. It's even worse when returning because you emerge from the top of the steps directly into the road without the drivers having been able to see you in advance.

I'd reccommend going in via Bluebridge Avenue
 

Offline GWTSEC

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #108 on: March 28, 2009, 08:35:26 am »
HMWT and GWT manage the wood for the benefit of everyone. It is disappointing, but not surprising  the tape has been broken. It is even more disappointing that people are encouraged to walk a path which HMWT and GWT have closed for safety reasons on this website. The path is that it is not safe for everyone to walk there. Trudging over the broken bridges or trampling a deviation can cause further damage. There is plenty of SAFE access to the Wood. Please cooperate.
The schoolchildren can enter the wood via Moffatts Lane and Gobions Open Sapce and either walk through the wood by the north path, or walk round the lake to the entrance to the wood at the top of oak tree path. Once in the wood all the paths are open. Enjoy the anemones, they are fantastic at the moment.
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #109 on: March 28, 2009, 09:49:58 am »
Two more entrances to Leach Fields from the West Path have been blocked.

Note: Photographs take by accessing from the Gobions Wood rather than by walking down the West Path, which the HMWT recommend is not used until inspected on Monday.

Click here for more details.







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Offline mannyd

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #110 on: March 28, 2009, 09:04:35 pm »
I'm lost!! Can the schoolchildren not access via Bluebridge Avenue then?? I think a walk from school up to Moffatts entrance (and back) would be a bit beyond some.... these are 4 and 5yr olds.... they then have the walk through the woods too....

If this is true, it seems a deep shame - the school have been using the woods for educational visits for many years as far as I know
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #111 on: March 28, 2009, 09:30:28 pm »
I'm lost!! Can the schoolchildren not access via Bluebridge Avenue then?? I think a walk from school up to Moffatts entrance (and back) would be a bit beyond some.... these are 4 and 5yr olds.... they then have the walk through the woods too....

If this is true, it seems a deep shame - the school have been using the woods for educational visits for many years as far as I know

Hi Mannyd,

Yes, they just need to go across Moffats Open Space towards Gobions Open Space (where the swings are) and then head down south east towards the lakes and cut round. Probably not much in it.

David
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Offline Gunflash

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #112 on: March 29, 2009, 09:25:34 pm »
I can't believe the comments regarding this land at the end of the day its private property and therefore users are trespassing.
Since when has Environmental issues been dealt with by Police with crime and stabbings on the increase in the UK i can now see reason why our police force are in fields.

With regards to the trespass if you left your back gate open and found people in your garden you would go mental and rightly so.........the difference here is its someone elses land.

And before people start saying what do i know i actually i'm actually an Environmental Consultant and whilst i'm fully committed to the protection of our land and wildlife i do not endorse breaking the law to do so. 
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #113 on: March 29, 2009, 11:38:27 pm »
Since when has Environmental issues been dealt with by Police with crime and stabbings on the increase in the UK i can now see reason why our police force are in fields.

I think the Police deal with crimes. If these are environmental are you saying the Police shouldn't get involved ?

Thankfully we don't have too may stabbings in BP.

i do not endorse breaking the law to do so. 

I'm sure the vast majority of forum readers don't either, however the police were responding to concerns expressed by the public (who had contacted them) about allegations of damage in the area. I am very thankful to the Police and the PCSOs for investigating if any crimes have have been committed and am thankful I live in an area where there generally aren't a large number of serious crimes commtted.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 06:27:20 am by David Brewer »
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #114 on: March 30, 2009, 06:10:07 am »
Gunflash - Do you by any chance consult for Leach Homes???   :icon_scratch:
 

Offline Bobb

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #115 on: March 30, 2009, 12:46:35 pm »
Does anyone else see irony in the name of this particular developer - Leach Homes

Or is it just me?
 

Offline Gunflash

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #116 on: March 30, 2009, 06:24:31 pm »
Crime is cutting pipes on diggers. If you snobs call crime cutting down a tree you need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Thats the problem with work in elderly areas the residents have far too much time on their hands and moan about petty things. Where is there a written law to install gates into your back walls and trespass on somebody elses land.

I hope the owner decides to build houses on it maybe for homeless people or families in poverty.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 08:43:22 pm by David Brewer »
 

Offline peppermint

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #117 on: March 30, 2009, 08:01:35 pm »
Does anyone know what is happening on Bluebridge Road this evening.   There is a fire engine and police vans.   It doesnt appear to be a road accident but it does seem to be by the entrance to the Leach Fields.
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #118 on: March 30, 2009, 08:04:31 pm »
Yes, there has been a fire in the security hut and unfortunately the man inside at the time has had to be taken to hospital. I think that so many appliances were needed because there were gas canisters in the hut.

 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #119 on: March 30, 2009, 08:08:50 pm »
According to police a security guard working in the Leach Fields is being treated in hospital for 30% burns following a fire at a security van parked in Leach Fields.

The officer on the scene says the burns are not thought to be life threatening.

They are investigating the cause of the fire but at this stage they think it might be 'industrial' and say that they do not think any third party was involved and are not, currently, treating the fire as suspicious.

However, investigations are continuing and officers will update this site when more information is available.

David
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