Your Hertfordshire Rural Affairs and Community News Bulletin
Welcome to our November 2021 eBulletin
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National Trustees Week 1 - 5 November 2021
Hertfordshire Trustee Conference - Join us for the third annual Hertfordshire Trustee Conference - 02 - 04 November 2021
This year's digital conference will be a fantastic celebration of Hertfordshire trustees, run in joint partnership with #TeamHerts Volunteering. We have excellent speakers and workshops throughout , on topics from Wellbeing and Resilience, the future of boards and a workshop on all the things you wish you had known when you became a Trustee! The conference will be held during national Trustees' Week 02- 04 November and will have daily lunchtime workshops to support you in your trusteeship alongside evening webinars with guest speakers. The conference is fully funded and free to attend for all Hertfordshire residents and/or trustees & staff of Herts VCS organisations. With thanks to Hertfordshire County Council Adult Care Services for their support of the programme.
Please take up offers of these vaccines to protect yourself, your families and others. If you have had both vaccinations and at least six months (182 days) have passed since your second vaccination the National Booking Service will allow you to book a ‘booster’ jab.
Upcoming forestry works - Read about the wide range of forestry work we have planned this autumn/winter in some of our woodlands across Hertfordshire Click Here New surfaced path at Nomansland Common - We are pleased to announce the completion of a new all-user path across Nomansland Common, between the villages of Wheathampstead and Sandridge. New Active Travel Projects Officer - October ’21 sees the return of a dedicated Active Travel Projects Officer to the CRoW Team tasked with continuing the previous work to identify, develop and ultimately deliver improvements to the network and associated greenspaces for non-motorised utility travel. Communities team update - As we move into autumn, our volunteers are starting on their winter work programme, including scrub and vegetation management on sites across the county. We want your views - CRoW are working with the District Councils to develop new Greenspace Action Plans for a number of sites this year. We are currently looking for views on Briefing Documents for Purwell Meadows, Butts Close and Oughtonhead Common in North Herts.
Diwali, ‘Deepavali’ or ‘Divali’ is one of the most popular festivals which originates from India. It’s celebrated by billions of people around the world. It is known as the ‘Festival of Lights’.
Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Newar Buddhists. For each faith it marks different historical events and stories. For all the religions, the festival represents the same symbolic spiritual victory of light over darkness and good over evil.
St Albans Museum is hosting a free drop in craft workshop on Diwali Decorations from the 4-7 November.
East Herts Council and Everyone Active hosted an opening weekend for the new Grange Paddocks Leisure Centre and it went swimmingly. The £22m investment from East Herts Council will enable residents and visitors to enjoy a 25m eight lane competition main pool, teaching pool and Splash Lagoon, state of the art fitness suite, two exercise studios, self-contained football changing facilities and a café and seating area.
Councillor Eric Buckmaster, executive member for wellbeing at East Herts Council, said: "I was so excited to see such an amazing turnout at the opening of the new leisure centre this weekend and the great enthusiasm from everyone. We hope that people will enjoy the centre for many years to come with its great offering of activities for all ages.
Many of us have become used to drinking more during the pandemic because of pouring larger measures when consuming at home and due to increased stress. It’s worth thinking about cutting down, having some alcohol free days, alternating with water or soft drinks and reducing measure size and number of drinks. You’ll feel and sleep better and lower your risk of some health conditions such as heart disease and cancers.
Dacorum Borough Council's Love Food, Hate Waste challenge is back for its sixth year, helping residents reduce food waste and save money. Annually, UK households waste 4.5 million tonnes of edible food, which amounts to around £700 for an average family per year. As well as the cost, this is a huge waste of resources and additional methane produced when the food enters the waste system. This matters because methane is a potent greenhouse gas up to 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The Food and Agriculture Organisation reports that 30 percent of agricultural land is used for food which is eventually wasted, while eight percent of manmade greenhouse gases come from food waste, almost equivalent to global road transport emissions.
Coveted Green Flags continue to fly high at five parks and nature reserves in North Herts, following a national announcement by Keep Britain Tidy last week.
The award is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces and having such areas on your doorstep is invaluable – but residents have particularly reaped the benefits in recent times with local nature reserves and parks playing a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely.
Funding secured to plant thousands of trees in under-populated areas of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire County Council has been successful in securing £50,156 from the DEFRA Local Authority Treescape Fund (LATF) in partnership with seven district and borough councils. The funding will enable the planting of approximately 3,000 trees across the county.
Paving the way for sustainable working with our all-new electric highways repair sites
Hertfordshire County Council has trialled two all-electric sites, with both plant vehicles and worker facilities powered by electricity. As the first local authority in southern England to trial such projects, our footpath reconstruction sites in Letchworth and Stevenage used electric and zero emission equipment.
We want to see fireworks regulations changed to protect our pets, wildlife and farm animals. A recent poll revealed that 52% of UK adults in England and Wales will be holding private displays at home, with friends and family. Farm animals are easily frightened by loud noises and sudden flashes of bright light, which can startle and cause them to injure themselves on fencing and farm equipment. Wildlife, like hedgehogs, are also at risk of being burnt alive after making their homes in bonfires. Fireworks are also highly disturbing to some birds and have caused the abandonment of nests or even whole colonies. This year, we've developed a handy toolkit for local authorities to support them in reaching out to local communities and raising awareness about the impact fireworks have on animals.
Last chance for Hertsmere residents to upgrade your home this winter
There's just a few more weeks to apply for a grant of up to £10,000 towards the cost of retrofitting their house and beat the expected energy price hike. More than 70 homeowners have already taken advantage of our Green Homes Grant scheme, run in partnership with National Energy Foundation, which offers low-income households help to fund energy-saving improvements in their homes. Under the scheme, eligible homeowners can get up to £10,000 and private landlords up to £5000 towards the costs of energy efficiency improvements. Among the measures which could be made are external wall, underfloor and cavity wall insulation, solar panels and smart heating controls.
The current phase closes to new applications at the end of November, and a further phase will launch early in the new year.
CDA Herts Supports our Refill Stores
Sugar & Scoop Ware
Sugar and Scoop is a Zero Waste Refill and Sustainable Lifestyle shop in Ware. Plastic-free, Planet- friendly shopping made easy. Reducing your plastic waste shouldn’t mean compromising on choice or quality. We seek out the best quality plastic-free products so that you can buy them locally. If there’s something new you’d like to see in-store, just let us know. Visit us for refills of…
FOOD, TOILETRIES, CLEANING SUPPLIES
…and for other products that help you cut down on single-use plastic.
Herts In Focus - Hertfordshire places, landscapes and landmarks
We are delighted that the online photography exhibition, Herts in Focus, is returning for a second year in support of HCF, once again kindly co-ordinated by HCF Ambassador Henrietta Buxton. Featuring 30 photographs, this year's online exhibition is a visual journey showcasing the beauty of Hertfordshire through the eyes of talented local amateur photographers. Photos include stunning countryside and architectural gems including Knebworth House. Framed prints prints in an A3 frame are available to purchase from the Herts in Focus website, with all proceeds being donated to HCF.
CDA Herts Supports Farmers' Markets
Little Hadham Farmers' Market Saturday 27th November
The picturesque village of Little Hadham in East Hertfordshire has a Farmers’ Market the last Saturday of the month which promotes the best of local produce, offering only items grown, bred, prepared or made by the stall holders as much as practically possible. Stalls include; meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, eggs, bread, cakes and pastries, coffee, honey, English sparkling wine, cheese, Italian meals and artisan crafts. Due to COVID we are operating with a smaller number of stalls, mostly outside, at the Little Hadham Primary School. If you come to our market we ask for a contact email or phone number on arrival, you must wear a mask if you go inside the school and keep a distance of 2m from our stall holders, and other customers.
Harry Bott's November Farming, Wildlife and Garden Reports
Harry is pleased to see an increase in the Hare population, reflects on the use of chemicals in crop production and is very happy with his kitchen garden produce!
Read the full report from Harry by clicking below.
Click Hereto download and read Harry Bott's November Countryside Notes.
(c) Margaret Holland
Give the gift of a wilder future this Christmas.
Are you thinking about Christmas yet? This year, why not gift someone a better future for wildlife. We all know that one person who is impossible to shop for, giving a wild gift will support nature on your doorstep and give them the joy of knowing wildlife near them is being looked after.
There is so much to choose from inside the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust Christmas shop; from wildlife sponsorships to gift memberships and badger experiences, there is a wild gift for everyone.
The BBC report how experts have criticised plans to subsidise low-carbon heat pumps in place of gas boilers for homeowners in England and Wales from next April.
Households will be offered subsidies of £5,000 from next April to help them make the switch. Although up to 25 million UK homes have gas boilers, the grants will fund just 90,000 pumps over three years. The government says this will boost demand for the pumps, but critics say the plan does not go far enough. Homeowners will be encouraged to switch to a heat pump or other low-carbon technology when their current boiler needs replacing. An air-source heat pump costs between £6,000 and £18,000, depending on the type installed and the size of a property. The RSN raises that this is of considerable concern for rural homes which often prove to be significantly more costly to implement a sufficient insulation standard needed in order to make fuel pumps a viable replacement for gas or oil fed boilers.
The County Councils Network Report Warns of Gigabit Broadband Divide
The CCN is a cross-party special interest group of the Local Government Association – representing 36 of England’s councils. According to the report, only 21% of premises in rural areas currently have access to a gigabit speed network with ten counties experiencing less than 15% gigabit coverage in comparison to London, which boast 77% of gigabit coverage. Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP currently expects around 68% of the country to be covered by a gigabit speed network by the end of 2021 but rural communities are sceptical they will be considered in these targets. The report includes a series of recommendations, including the call for “subsidised digital access for Universal Credit recipients” through a regulated social broadband tariff, and a suggestion to put “upper-tier councils” in charge of Project Gigabit funding for their respective areas.
As the UK prepares to host the United Nations COP26 climate change summit in November, Rewilding Britain is calling on the UK and devolved Governments to back the creation of locally driven nature-based economies across 30% of Britain by 2030. Putting nature at the heart of a green economic recovery would benefit rural and coastal communities, which are among the most deprived in Britain while helping fix the nature and climate emergencies, says the charity. Such a shift would include new jobs and businesses based on nature-friendly approaches and innovation, with farmers, fishers and foresters benefiting from green investment. Analysis of 33 rewilding projects in England covering over 82,000 acres has revealed a 54% increase in full-time equivalent jobs since rewilding began. Jobs across the sites have risen from 173 to 267, and now include education, nature tourism, food and drink production, ecology and events. Volunteering opportunities on the sites have risen from 61 to 810
Bullying is a serious issue that affects many children, teenagers and adults.
One of the most important things we can do to fight bullying is to raise awareness about it among all people involved in this process — parents, teachers, and students. It’s also crucial for everyone to know what they should do if they witness or experience bullying. Anti-bullying week is a nationwide event that takes place in England from November 15th to 19th. This annual campaign, organised by the Anti Bullying Alliance and supported by schools across Great Britain aims at raising awareness among children about the issue of bullying especially within their own neighbourhood or school community
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