News

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 treealert.forestresearch.gov.uk.

For more on how to identify OPM, visit https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/opm

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.

High St road closure from Mon 3 June

Re: upcoming Virgin Media utility works at High Street, Wheathampstead.

To create a safe working environment for the workforce and members of the public alike, the works will be completed under a temporary One-Way closure (Southbound Only).  The works are due to commence from Monday 3rd June 2019 and programmed to takeapproximately 3 days  (9.30am – 3.30pm) to complete, weather permitting.

Traffic will be able to exit the High Street onto B653 Lower Luton Road / Lamer Lane / Codicote Road, however, southbound traffic must follow the signed diversion route via: B653 Codicote Road – Cory-Wright Way – Marford Road – High Street.

Reed bed development

Following a public consultation at The Memorial Hall, Sanctus Limited have been appointed by Jarvis Homes to decontaminate the reed bed site through a process of bioremediation, which speeds up the natural processes. They provided a booklet titled ‘Remediation of ‘Meadow View’ Reed Beds, Wheathampstead – information and frequently asked questions (click to view).

All information regarding the various planning applications and history of the project, can be found on the St Albans District Council website. This will be consistently updated.

Travellers on The Meads

Wheathampstead Parish Council is aware of the situation with regard to the travellers and is following the relevant processes.

We will provide updates as and when they are available.

Thank you to those who have reported the matter to both us and the police.

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