Local Environmental Initiatives

Hertford Civic society celebrates and supports the environmental improvements and campaigning initiated by other agencies in Hertford mindful of a specifically green agenda.

  • Purchase of Beane Marsh – while not contributing financially as an organisation individual members have donated individually to the fund set up to buy the Marsh and which has now been gifted by the community to the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust for its upkeep. Cattle will soon be grazing on Beane Marsh for 3 months each year to improve the habitat for wildlife. (Cattle last grazed on this land 40 years or so ago!)
  • HCS has supported the modernisation and development of children’s play areas: notably the new play areas on Hartham Common developed by the Council in partnership with Hartham Playground Alliance are proving a great success. Planning conditions now require areas on new estates to be set aside for leisure. A good example is on the new Croudace estate at Sele Farm where a large play area in the centre is a feature. It takes away feelings of over crowdedness and offers all ages a public open space in which to congregate.
  • Hertford has the particular benefit of the confluence of four chalk rivers (Beane, Mimram, Lee, and Rib) in the town providing natural areas for leisure and relaxation. On the westside of Hartham is the Warren where East Herts Council are implementing a management plan that will mean more native trees and planting to benefit wildlife.
  • Castle Gardens: just before lockdown HCS was invited to comment on a report by EHC recommending improvements to Hertford Castle Gardens. Two particular opportunities for development are identified: the ‘old Nuttery’ could be restored and the children’s play area urgently needs moving away from the pollution on Gasgoyne Way and closer to the Theatre entrance.
  • Hertford Swift Group: swifts were very common in Hertford but there has been a steep decline in the last 40 or so years due in part to a loss of suitable nest sites. The Swift Group is running an exciting project to remedy this and with some success as gradually the swifts are returning. This has a link to planning as the Swift group wants the needs of swifts to be taken into account in planning applications.
  • Public Gardens: HCS welcomes the gradual planting of more ‘old fashioned’ plants in keeping with the historic ambience of the town, especially in the Castle Gardens. Mudlarks influence here is applauded.

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