Author Topic: Leach Fields footpaths  (Read 129111 times)

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Offline mannyd

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #120 on: March 30, 2009, 08:51:38 pm »
Hi Gunflash

not all residents are elderly!! At 38 I don't count myself as old - and as a mother of 2 under 5's with a disabled husband I don't have too much time on my hands!! I'm just trying to help preserve the paths that the residents have walked now for many years - including the countryside around it. My 4yr old is the 3rd generation of mt husband's family to walk through Leach Fields - something he would do every day if he could.

So please don't critisise residents purely based on an assumption about them - it's not constructive. Even if the majority are elderly (and I don't really think they are) everyone's opinion is valid
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #121 on: March 30, 2009, 09:26:22 pm »
I have just been searching the web trying to find out what 30% burns means.

To give an idea of the extent of the injury, the palm of a hand is 1% of the body surface, an arm 9%, a leg, a back, or a front is 18%. Apparently it can take up to 40 days in hospital to recover from 30% burns. Let's hope the poor man makes a full recovery.

David
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Offline naomi

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #122 on: March 31, 2009, 05:59:39 am »
Gunflash - I do not use a zimmer frame, yes, I could possibly be old enough to be your parent and I am definitely not a snob! Instead of making generalistic and patronising comments, how about some understanding. I'm not sure of your role as an Environmental Consultant.....but I would have thought you of all people would be more aware of the impact of land issues, tree clearing etc.   
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #123 on: March 31, 2009, 08:05:12 am »
Gunflash - Been thinking about what you said with regard to trespassing. Yes, you're right, if I caught you walking around my garden I'd steam straight in, no questions asked, but then again, I haven't left my gate open to the public for the last 30 or 40 years or more, and suddenly slammed it shut!!!!
By the way, you didn't answer me before - do you work for Leach Homes?
 

Offline username

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #124 on: March 31, 2009, 08:33:02 am »
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.

Gunflash- Have a read through the posts and you will find that although residents are on the whole against the development they can also see the side of the argument from the owners point of view. You seem to suggest from your above post that some people are being narrow minded in their views- Do you see the irony here? 
 

Offline AnneK

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #125 on: March 31, 2009, 08:45:44 am »
Wow - now Leach Homes is going to have to add security to look after its security guard. (And if he shared Gunflash's views, that poor man probably thought he was just going to be sitting around all day, watching us geriatrics shuffle around Brookmans Park in our dressing gowns and slippers . . .)

In all seriousness, I hope he recovers from his burns posthaste.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 11:37:19 am by AnneK »
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #126 on: March 31, 2009, 09:06:23 am »
I hope so too, I've just been up to ask after him and he's been transferred from the QE11 to a hospital in Chelmsford. I've asked his colleagues to pass on the community's best wishes for a speedy recovery.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 03:19:40 pm by Mermaid »
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #127 on: March 31, 2009, 11:22:46 am »
Gunflash has certainly stirred things up with suggesting that this is an 'elderly area'.

I suggest he/she stands at the gates of the primary school when school finishes and checks out the average age of the parents collecting the kids.  There will be some grandparents - I have collected my grandchildren occasionally - but not all parents have used science to have a child when in their 50s and 60s.   :icon_jokercolor:

Offline Bunny

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #128 on: March 31, 2009, 12:05:02 pm »
First time I have ever been called a snob, oh well, there goes my working class roots.  Tarring everybody with the same brush is such a easy and silly thing to do, shows a distinct lack of either, education or common sense or both.  There are proper ways to demonstarte our feelings which most in BP do, Criminal damage is wrong I totally agree.

Not being too old, I run my own company and am luckily very busy at the moment but still have time to get involved with local issues.
 

John_fraser

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #129 on: March 31, 2009, 12:13:32 pm »
As I understand it, these fields have been owned by Leach Homes or a predecessor company for a great number of years. During the last thirty years they have allowed the public free access to the land, even though there was no onus on them to do this. They surly deserve commendations for this public spirited act. Now they have decided to rescind this access, as is their moral and legal right you would expect them to be receive a "thank you." Instead they are met with vitriol and demands access to land that was never publicly owned.

Leach Homes have a right to use the land as they see fit as long as it complies with the law. And despite a great deal of postings, there is absolutely no indication they have broken any law. I enjoyed Leach Fields for several years. I will miss it and wish they hadn’t taken it back, but I am grateful they gave it to us enjoy for all these years. I hope they change their minds and open it up again, but if I owned the fields and read these posts or had been the victim of vandalism I doubt I’d ever let the public on my land again.
 

Offline AnneK

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #130 on: March 31, 2009, 01:31:44 pm »
But, John, Leach Homes leased Leach Fields to Gobions Woodland Trust, so presumably the company was getting something out of the arrangement. Also, as Bob Horrocks has pointed out on the forum, the land has been in the Green Belt for much of the time Leach Homes has owned it. As a result, the company hasn't been able to develop the fields as it probably would have wished.

It's not as if Leach Homes declined to develop the land and threw open the gates for 30 years out of the goodness of its heart. If that had been the case, I'd agree that Leach Homes is a truly public-spirited company and I'd be at the head of any Leach Homes Appreciation Parade.

It's not clear to me why Leach Homes has opted to end its arrangement with GWT. Perhaps, as Bob Horrocks has suggested, the company's got its eye on the main chance and hopes to develop the land if it's released from the Green Belt. Maybe it's got something to do with GWT handing over Gobions Woodland to the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust. (I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this, but maybe Leach Homes has some questions about who would actually maintain the fields if it renewed GWT's lease?)

To get back to my original point, I'm grateful that Leach Homes leased Leach Fields to GWT. I'm really grateful that volunteers for GWT maintained the land to such a high standard over the years. But I'm still going to support any (legal) efforts to keep the land in the Green Belt. Ditto any attempts to create Rights of Way across the land. And until it's clear what Leach Homes intends to do with the fields, I think I'll hold any thanks in reserve.

ps - Any news on the injured security guard?
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #131 on: March 31, 2009, 02:35:32 pm »
Quote
It's not clear to me why Leach Homes has opted to end its arrangement with GWT

I think you’ll probably find it’s the other way around. GWT has very few active members. One of the conditions of the lease on Leach Fields was that the boundaries be maintained. Trying to comply with this condition was a permanent headache for people who were giving up their own time voluntarily. When Gobions Wood was transferred over to Herts and Middx Wildlife Trust I can't see why they would be prepared to renew the lease and take on all the problems on land they don't own. Leach Homes would probably still like someone to take on the lease, but it is a major undertaking involving a lot of time and personal expense. Unless you have some money making scheme for the land (ie grazing or farming of some kind) you would be mad to want to take this on.

However, none of this affects that fact that many people (me included) believe a Right of Way has been established over this land, according to the law. This is not a case of “punishing” Leach Homes in spite of their kindness. The reason for this law was to ensure that landowners could not simply stop the common people from using established footpaths. Which is what has happened here.

If there is anyone else who would like to fill in a form declaring that they have been using these paths (especially people who were using them over 20 years ago), then please PM me and let me know. I would like to get the application to modify the counties Definitive Map in by the end of the week.


« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 02:49:13 pm by MikeL »
 

Offline AnneK

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #132 on: March 31, 2009, 03:14:12 pm »
Ah, interesting. Thanks, MikeL. I hadn't understood before why you felt that BP residents might have kept Leach Fields open if more of us had taken part in the GWT work parties, but I'm with you now.

For those who are interested, there's a blurb on the W & H Times website this afternoon about the injured security guard. I've cut and pasted it below:

Man suffers burns in Brookmans Park building site blaze
09:31 - 31 March 2009
A MAN suffered significant burns when his caravan caught fire last night (Monday).

The security guard was looking after a building site in Blue Bridge Road, Brookmans Park, when the accident, which is believed to involve a generator, took place at around 7pm.

Police, fire crews and an ambulance attended and the man was taken to the QE2 Hospital in WGC with burns to his hands and face.

He was later transferred to a specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.

Fire service investigators are currently on site.
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #133 on: March 31, 2009, 07:00:37 pm »
Local conservationists are reporting an increase in muntjac deer around Gobions Pond in recent days. They claim it could be due to the changes currently taking place in neighbouring Leach Fields, which have now been closed to the public. Click here for more details.
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Offline AnneK

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #134 on: March 31, 2009, 09:24:28 pm »
Interesting. A muntjac deer appeared in our back garden this morning. It must sense I'm sympathetic to its plight. Just not that sympathetic. If it doesn't stop eating my plants I'm going to catch it, carry it up the hill and hand it back to the site manager at Leach Fields.  ;)
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #135 on: April 01, 2009, 08:39:22 am »
Interesting. A muntjac deer appeared in our back garden this morning. It must sense I'm sympathetic to its plight.

Thanks Anne,

It would be interesting to hear from anyone else who has noticed the appearance of wildlife in unusual places.

David
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Offline James Bentall

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #136 on: April 01, 2009, 09:15:15 pm »
Our local MP has heard back Leach Homes about their plans for the fields there, from his forum:

http://www.shapps.com/forum/index.php/topic,4893.0.html

Quote
Leach Homes has owned the site for the past 70 years and for the last 20, it's been let to The Gobians Wood Trust. The lease expired on 31st December and is not being renewed.

The company are now in the process of securing all the boundaries in order to use the land for grazing horses. No hedgerows are being ripped up, only brambles, but all the entrances are being blocked off to avoid horses escaping.

All this work has apparently been discussed and approved by the Hatfield Rural Neighbourhood team.
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
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Offline mannyd

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #137 on: April 01, 2009, 09:55:25 pm »
James,

who are "Hatfield Rural Neighbourhood team"?? Someone who has walked these fields for the last 30 years tells me they are covered in wragwort (is that the right spelling?) which can be dangerous to grazing animals...
 

John_fraser

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #138 on: April 01, 2009, 11:00:25 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

 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #139 on: April 03, 2009, 08:22:50 am »
Police say the security company patrolling Leach Fields has been changed, a week after being brought in to protect the site. Click here for more details.
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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #140 on: April 03, 2009, 12:28:08 pm »
Police say the security company has left the site "mainly due to threats being made to the security guards and earlier this week a vehicle was damaged."  Officers say any threats, violence or criminal damage will be investigated and charges may follow.

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #141 on: April 03, 2009, 07:16:23 pm »
Nationwide Security Ltd says it pulled its staff off the Leach Fields site because the company was "fed up with staff being harassed by members of the public."  Click here for more details.
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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #142 on: April 06, 2009, 04:59:47 pm »
Forms signed by locals who say they have been using the paths across Leach Fields for more than 20 years are being collected. The wording on the form says "I confirm that the routes marked in red are the paths that I refer to in my attached evidence". The form is then dated and signed. The following map shows the location of the paths people used to be able to walk along with their grid references.



Note: edited to update map.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 12:07:04 pm by David Brewer »
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Offline GWTSEC

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #143 on: April 08, 2009, 03:13:20 pm »

GWT has very few active members. One of the conditions of the lease on Leach Fields was that the boundaries be maintained. Trying to comply with this condition was a permanent headache for people who were giving up their own time voluntarily. When Gobions Wood was transferred over to Herts and Middx Wildlife Trust I can't see why they would be prepared to renew the lease and take on all the problems on land they don't own. Leach Homes would probably still like someone to take on the lease, but it is a major undertaking involving a lot of time and personal expense.


Gobions Woodland Trust did everything in its power to renew the lease on Leach Fields, Leach homes was just not interested. Many people still continue to support the trust with regular donations and those who have worked to maintain the area have worked very hard indeed. Everyone is bitterly disappointed that the lease was not renewed.

Note: Edited only to fix quote box.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 03:26:28 pm by David Brewer »
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #144 on: April 09, 2009, 09:04:57 am »
Forms signed by locals who say they have been using the paths across Leach Fields for more than 20 years are being collected. The wording on the form says "I confirm that the routes marked in red are the paths that I refer to in my attached evidence". The form is then dated and signed. The following map shows the location of the paths people used to be able to walk along with their grid references.

Question - I don't know anything about this, but would it not be better for the footpaths to finish somewhere else than the middle of a field? Would North Mymms PC have any objections to having the footpaths continue across their land to finish at Brookmans Avenue and Moffats Lane? And possible Gobions Woodland Trust through their land? It seems daft to only have footpaths that - possibly in the future - end at land which cannot be walked through, and would whoever decides on the footpaths look more favourably on them if they ended at roads?
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #145 on: April 09, 2009, 09:06:47 am »
Hi James,

I am not expert either, but I think the paths end at (i.e. join up with) existing path either on parish council owned land (Moffats Open Space) or land formerly owned by Gobions Woodland Trust and now part of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

David
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Offline GWTSEC

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #146 on: April 09, 2009, 01:27:51 pm »
To clarify the situation with regard to maps etc. The front of the form says "This form should be completed by one person only and should relate to only one route. " The ROW officer at HCC agreed that as there were likely to be lots of forms and there are various routes through the field it would be sufficient, for the time being, to specify routes in question 4, which refer to a map attached to all the submissions. This is the map above.

Question 4, says "Please give a full description of the route you use and mark it on the attached map, e.g where you start from and where you finish".
There are 3 points on the map, A, B and C which were entrances/exits to Leach fields and several pathways between these points.
It is possible to go from A to B via paths 1 and 5, or 1,4 and 6, or even 2,7, 4 and 6. If you have used all three put them in.
With regard to starting and finishing in fields, Moffatts Open space and Gobions Wood have  open access so the ROW is not in question there.


 

Offline ScottishGoat

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #147 on: April 16, 2009, 01:56:27 pm »
Can someone let me know where the forms can be obtained in connection with the rights of way at Leach Fields?
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #148 on: April 17, 2009, 12:53:20 pm »
They should be available in the Brookmans Park library, or I can email you a copy when I get home tonight.
 

Offline ScottishGoat

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #149 on: April 20, 2009, 04:52:38 pm »
Thanks MikeL.

I visited the library and picked the forms up.  (I do not have access to the personal messaging otherwise I would have left my email address)
 

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