The ‘Meander through the Meads’ project is a winner

As you may have seen from a previous news post, Affinity Water were offering the chance to fund a local project as part of their Community Engagement Programme.

Thanks to your votes, our project ‘Meander through the Meads’ won! This project, in partnership with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT) was created to enhance and increase the range of habitats for fish, invertebrates, birds and rare plants, protect the river from bank erosion and habitat disturbance, raise awareness of chalk rivers and increase people’s skills and knowledge of river restoration.

Keep an eye on our website for more information – we will update everyone as and when we know more.

DEFRA Consultation – Measures to Reduce Personal Water Consumption

DEFRA have just launched a consultation on measures to reduce personal water usage – open until 11 October 2019.

The consultation can be found here:

It is to understand what potential measures there are to reduce domestic water usage, and what reduction in personal water consumption is technically feasible and achievable. It seeks views on the measures proposed and asks what additional measures could be put in place.

The consultation covers:

  • Personal water cap (building regulations)
  • Water efficiency labelling
  • Metering
  • Smart metering
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Supply pipe leakage
  • Incentives for customers to use less water.

As a member of the Lea Catchment Partnership we encourage you to respond.

Wide-scale measures to help improve water efficiency and reduce personal water consumption could have direct & positive impacts for helping restore flows in our chalk streams.

Bus timetables & guides available!

Visit the Parish Council offices between 9.30-12.30 Monday to Friday for copies of timetables for local buses, as well as comprehensive guides (including a detailed map) of all bus services around South, East and West Herts.

Some copies may also be found in The Reading Rooms on the High Street.

Vote now – Improvements to the Meads & the River Lea

Vote for ‘Meanders through the Meads’

As part of their Community Engagement Programme, Affinity Water are offering the chance to fund one local project.

In partnership with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT), the Parish Council would like to enhance and increase the range of habitats for fish, invertebrates, birds and rare plants, protect the river from bank erosion and habitat disturbance, raise awareness of chalk rivers and increase people’s skills and knowledge of river restoration.

We need your votes to win the funding, so get voting! All you need to do is choose ‘Meanders through the Meads’ from the drop down menu at the bottom of the page. No personal information required! Voting closes on 30 August 2019.

More information about the HMWT can be found here.

Oak Processionary Moth caterpillars – a problem for oak trees, humans and animals

We have been urged to check for Oak Processionary Moth caterpillars by DEFRA.

The Oak processionary moth is a non-native moth that has become established in parts of London and its surrounds. OPM caterpillars feed on oak leaves and can increase trees’ vulnerability to attack by other pests and diseases, making them less able to withstand weather conditions such as drought and floods.

Whilst this is a serious problem for oak trees, the primary concern is the caterpillars hairs as these can cause severe irritation if in contact with human skin and can also affect dogs. These caterpillars should not be handled or approached. if you suspect you have found OPM caterpillars, please report your sighting to

For more on how to identify OPM, visit

Why are Chalk Rivers special?

Chalk Rivers are very rare. There are only about 200 across the entire world and one of them is the River Lea! Almost all of them, about 85%, are found in South and East England. This makes them extremely special and one of the UK’s most important environments.

For more information, visit our page about the River Lea.

The Pubs of Wheathampstead 1830 to 1914 – new book

The days when Wheathampstead’s Hope Brewery sold beer at a shilling a gallon may be long gone, but this book offers readers a chance to explore the rich and varied social life in the parish’s 26 pubs more than a century ago.  All life was there – the good, the bad and the ugly. Pubs hosted Benefit Societies as well as thieves and drunkards. Landlords didn’t just sell beer, they also worked as bricklayers, farmers, or sawyers. Some weren’t above breaking the Sunday licensing laws with a spot of subterfuge. One catered for his thirsty Sunday morning customers by pretending the buckets of beer he was carrying contained water for his horses.  The landlady of one pub advertised ‘stabling, cricket, archery, quoits, a Ladies’ Coffee Room, hot and cold luncheons, dinners, and carriages to meet any train’. The landlord of another died from ‘softening of the brain due to drink’. Now that the village can support a mere three or four drinking places, it is fascinating to see how much life went on in the pubs of yesteryear.

For more details, please visit the History Society website.

The book is available at the Post Office, the Swan, the Reading Rooms, the Cross Keys and Farr Brew, or by post from the Society at the website above.

Accessible Shuttle Bus for the Alban Street Festival

The Accessible Shuttle Bus Service will be running on behalf of St Albans & District Council on Sunday 23rd June for this year’s Alban Street Festival.

A bus will be running our minibus and providing pickups throughout the day for the elderly, people with mobility problems and their carers throughout the event to help them get there and back. Pick ups will be from The Memorial Hall at half past the hour between 12:30pm and 4:30pm. We encourage booking a pickup slot in advance to avoid disappointment.

It you are coming to the pick up point by car, please do not leave it at The Memorial Hall car park, as users of the facility take priority.