On Sunday over six hundred people attended the Bengeo Field Fun Day – a fundraising event organised by the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign held at Bengeo Primary School, which is only 320 metres from the site of the proposed gravel quarry.

Local MP Mark Prisk attended the event and voiced his strong opposition to the proposal. He recognised the strength of feeling among local residents and paid tribute to the coordinated response of the SBQ campaign – “I am backing the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign. It’s clear this proposal would be bad for people’s health, bad for the local environment and potentially bad for our fresh water supply.”

Mark Prisk MP discusses the quarry plans with local residents
Mark Prisk MP discusses the quarry plans with local residents

County Councillor Andrew Stevenson also spoke at the event, explaining the current status of the proposal and addressing many of the concerns of residents. He said that “after careful consideration of the applicant documentation and responses so far he has concluded that gravel extraction as proposed would threaten the community in five ways: 1. Water supply 2. Ecology 3. Air quality 4. Highway system 5. Landscape.” He concluded that “The planned area is simply too close to urban development to be viable”. A number of other councillors supported the event and spoke to local residents – Cllr Linda Radford, Cllr Sally Newton, Cllr Paul Phillips, Cllr Steve Cousins and Cllr Michael McMullen.

Libby Mountford, the Chairperson of the Governors of Bengeo Primary School, also expressed the school’s and parents’ objection to the proposed quarry, which would affect health and safety of school children for year.

Chair of Bengeo Primary School governors, Libby Mountford, addresses the event
Chair of Bengeo Primary School governors, Libby Mountford, addresses the event

Bengeo Field, which the campaign is trying to save, was celebrated in the competition for the best photograph of the field, and was also the inspiration for some of the entrants in the ‘Great Bengeo Bake Off’ and the SBQ shopping bags displaying the distinctive ‘lonely oak’ logo. Over 500 raffle tickets were sold with prizes sponsored by local businesses, including McMullen’s Brewery. The afternoon also featured live sets from local musicians, including Schrodinger’s Strings, Team Apathy, George Clark and Jakub, a year 6 pupil of Bengeo Primary School.

Schrodinger's Strings perform at Bengeo Field Fun Day
Schrodinger’s Strings perform at Bengeo Field Fun Day

Aska Pickering, the Chairperson of the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign said: “Bengeo Field Fun Day was a great success. Despite the autumnal weather at the start of the afternoon, so many people turned out in support of this fund raising event. We would like to thank everyone who came and all those who worked so hard to make it happen. It was an amazing Hertford community event campaigning against the quarry proposal.”

The Proposal is expected to be considered by HCC Development Control Committee in September.

More photos below