In a month of weather extremes, harvest and staycations the High Sheriff has made some interesting visits to some of the lesser known locations of the county. As I continue my travels through Hertfordshire I continue to be amazed by the productive activity and variety this county has to offer and I have used this traditional holiday month to visit some of our countryside.
The Woodland Trust have established one of their largest newly planted forests at Sandridge near St Albans. Over the last 10 years over 600,000 trees have been planted, each one by volunteers. They are all growing well and are laid out with open glades and rides to allow the air and light to pass freely through and to enhance the rich diversity of insects, bugs and butterflies that share the woodland habitat. If you fancy a good walk in some really special surroundings you should put Sandridge on your list.
The Woodland Trust also manage Tring Park on the Chilterns escarpment (and just in Hertfordshire by a whisker). This is another joy to behold and walks across the old parkland and up into the beech woods offer spectacular scenery and views.
On the subject of nature, we had a thoroughly enjoyable morning at the Mudlarks centre at Hertford. We saw many of the team hard at work on their allotments and enjoyed an excellent lunch at the café in Hertford centre – Mudlarks are just opening a new and larger café in Hertford with much of the produce being made with the vegetables and fruit grown at their centre.
Another fascinating industry of this county is the work being done at the Building Research Establishment in Bricket Wood and we paid them a visit. An organisation that is at the forefront of building design and technology, looking forward to the most efficient and durable building materials of the future and highlighting the importance of modern construction techniques to save energy and use renewables.
These visit enabled me to follow my theme of conservation and the environment but the traditional High Sheriff work continued through the month with the VJ Memorial Day at Stanborough Park, Watford, a rewarding visit to the Family Courts in Watford to hand over Hero of Hertfordshire Awards and a meeting with the Governor of the HMP The Mount Prison.
I am delighted to say that our Heroes Awards have been a huge success and may I once again offer my sincere congratulations to all the recipients so far. The Lord Lieutenant and I are proud to have been able to give out over 400 awards to date and there are more coming in. This just goes to endorse how many people in our wonderful county have gone the extra mile to reach out to their communities and help others during the Covid pandemic.