Lapwing Breeding on Bengeo Field

This article has been submitted by Diana Howarth

I have been monitoring bird species on my regular walks across Bengeo Field and have noted that this year there have been at least two pairs of Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) in the north western part of the field.  Also known as the peewit, this striking bird with a distinctive crest usually appears in large flocks, but has been in recent decline.

Photo of Lapwing

The uncultivated area of stony ground with low covering of vegetation in the highest part of the field is an ideal habitat for these ground nesting birds.  They lay their eggs, looking like stones, in a small scrape on the ground where they are camouflaged from predators.  The fluffy striped chicks run around and learn to sit still when the crows are about making them almost invisible.  At least one pair have bred four chicks successfully and reared them into strongly growing juveniles.  I last saw these juveniles and the breeding pair on Friday 23rd June.

Lapwings are a threatened species and are listed in the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for UK Birds because numbers have declined over 80% since 1960. The Red List is an assessment based on the most up-to-date evidence available and criteria include conservation status at global and European levels and, within the UK: historical decline, trends in population and range, rarity, localised distribution and international importance.

In addition, I am pleased to say that the skylarks have bred successfully and now number more than 12 in all.

We must not lose an important habitat such as Bengeo Field.

Neighbourhood Plan Community Meeting

Hertford Town Council, the Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan Steering Group and local Residents’ Associations would like to invite the community of Bengeo to participate in creating a neighbourhood area plan for Bengeo.

Attend this first community meeting to find out how Bengeo Neighbourhood Area Plan can influence where you live and work, and to have your say on: • future residential development • countryside and open spaces • roads, cycleways, and parking • shops, community centres, health provision • heritage and culture • anything else you think is important.

This is an important, long-term community project that will shape the future of Bengeo and local knowledge and expertise provided by the local community will be critical to its success.
Residents, businesses and local organisations – please come along to the meeting to share your views and find out how you can get involved!

Rickney’s Quarry: Legacy

The original Rickney’s Quarry was abandoned in the 1990s. There is an interesting collection of photos on Urban Ghost that documents the condition of the site in 2012.

www.urban-ghost.co.uk/2012/03/rickneys-quarry.html

There are also some images from 2008 on Derelictplaces : Documenting Decay.

Planning Permission for Rickney’s was originally granted in 1958 (Source). Site restoration was due to be completed by the end of 2007 but to date this condition has not been met.

Photo of Rickney's Quarry
Rickney’s Quarry in 2016