Bengeo Field Discovery Walk

The field needs your help! Make it your mission to use Bengeo Field this summer. Join us on Sunday 19th June (Fathers’ Day) for a fun treasure trail starting at Sacombe Road park between 10-10.45 am. The walk will take a maximum of one hour. You can buy a treasure trail map and use it over the next few weeks.

We are also launching a Summer Bengeo Field Challenge and would love every family in Bengeo to make it their mission to use the field at least once over the summer: walk/cycle/ride, check in at the old oak tree and post your pics to Facebook… The more we use the field, the better!

Suggested donations for the treasure trail map: £2 per adult, £5 per family (2 adults, 3 children). All profits to the campaign.

Participants will receive a map with the route options and a treasure hunt/nature discovery instructions. Please bring your mobile or a camera and a ribbon to decorate the oak tree (optional). Don’t forget a drink. All children will need to be under their parents’ supervision.

Civic Society Submit Objection

HCS_logoHertford Civic Society has formally submitted its objections to the proposed quarry.

In their letter to the County Council they highlight an insufficient demand for gravel, the condition of the mothballed neighbouring quarry at Rickneys, and the “long-term despoliation of extensive tracts of land“.

The Society also comment on traffic, dust and the council’s ability to enforcement planning conditions.

Click the link below to read the full letter:
» Civic Society Letter

Environment Agency Respond


The Environment Agency has issued a written response to the planned gravel quarry north of Bengeo.

In their submission they raise a number of concerns about potential harm to the water environment, suggesting that planning permission only be granted subject to a number of conditions. The agency highlights that the site lies in a highly sensitive groundwater protection area.

The EA also advise that an Environmental Permit  must be obtained separately to any planning permission granted, and may not be granted given the sensitivity of the location.

They further note that the proposed use of water for the wheel-washing of vehicles and dust suppression requires a source of water, which may not be available.  They point out that the local licensing strategy for the Upper Lee indicates that “there is no water available for licensing”.

The agency go on to highlight other concerns regarding air quality, emissions, road sweeping and road surfaces.

You can read the agency’s response by clicking the link below.

» Environment Agency Response

Introducing the Stop Bengeo Quarry Treasurers

We are pleased to announce that we have now appointed Claire Cumberland as Treasurer and Alan Sewell as Deputy Treasurer. Both Claire and Alan are local Bengeo residents. Claire has previous experience as a bank manager and Alan is a qualified accountant who currently acts as Treasurer for Molewood Residents’ Association. We are all completely committed to keeping the Stop Bengeo Quarry accounts clear and transparent and Claire and Alan will ensure finances are handled appropriately.

We have agreed some basic principles on financial management, and these include the following:

  • No member of the campaign shall receive remuneration from the SBQ Group, with the exception of out of pocket expenses.
  • All funds will be lodged in the Group’s bank account. Any funds paid out will be authorised by the Treasurer or Deputy Treasurer and signed for by one other Officer of the SBQ Group.
  • Funds will be paid out for properly incurred expenses and also to pay for professional advice to support the activity of the Group.
  • The Group will keep proper accounts of the finances. An independent financial examiner will annually audit the accounts.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Hundreds put their best foot forward in support of Bengeo quarry campaign


More than 300 supporters joined in the walk from Bengeo to Chapmore End in support of the campaign to stop approval being given to a quarry in the heart of Bengeo countryside.

Residents of all ages gathered by the old oak tree in the field behind Bengeo Nurseries to make their views known on the application to turn the field into a gravel pit for the next 15 years. Children decorated the tree with ribbons, posters and poems and the procession then made their way across the byway to Chapmore End. The Woodman Pub then hosted a barbecue and live music was kindly provided by local musicians, with Bengeo Primary School pupil Jakub Pickering kicking off proceedings, followed by Bengeo resident Harold Chaplin, Piping Shrikes, Daisy Mae Lewis, Schrodinger’s Strings and Mike Excell. Councillor Andrew Stevenson thanked the crowds for coming and pledged his support for the campaign.

Continue reading →

Cllr.Stevenson Updates Campaign

County Councillor Andrew Stevenson met last Friday with representatives from Stop Bengeo Quarry, Bengeo Primary School and Molewood and Chapmore End Residents’ Associations: Nick Gough (Chairman of MRA), Libby Mountford (Head of Governors), Russell Norris (CEA), David Adam (Parent Governor), Mark Lynch, Katharine Elliot, and Aska Pickering.


Andrew updated us on the current status of the quarrying application and helped us understand the details of how the process works. At the last count, around 600 letters had been received and the planning officer, Felicity Hart, is now in the process of collating the points raised and deciding if further investigation is required. When all the investigations are complete, the planning officer will make a refuse/allow recommendation to the Development Control Committee, who will then make the final decision at a public meeting at County Hall. As yet, we don’t know the time of the DCC meeting – September or October seem likely, but there could be delays. Obviously we’ll will pass that information on as soon as it is available.

On the “further investigation” front, Andrew was able to tell us that:

  • Public Health England are being consulted about potential risks from dust
  • HCC will be arranging their own landscape assessment
  • the Environment Agency are being consulted about risks to the Wadesmill Road borehole.

CPRE Back Refusal

CPREThe Campaign To Protect Rural England have asked the County Council to refuse planning permission for gravel extraction in the field immediately north of Bengeo.

In  a letter written to the council, CPRE Hertfordshire question the rationale behind the plan and it’s compatibility with the current Local Minerals Plan 2002-16.

They also express concerns about potential water pollution, with Phase 4 of the proposed quarry being just 100 metres from the Wadesmill Road borehole, rather than the minimum 300m as proposed by the HCC minerals policy.

Woodland Trust Voices Objection

The Woodland Trust have submitted a formal objection to the planning application for gravel extraction in Bengeo.

woodland_trust_2013_1_largeCiting government guidance that states: planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, the Trust raises a number of objections to the quarry based on its location close to St.John’s Wood, including dust and noise.

In a four-page submission to the County Council, the Trust expresses concern about the affect of dust on the woodland’s spoil chemistry and inadequate buffering around St.John’s Wood.

They also express concerns about noise and light pollution and changes to the hydrology, thereby altering ground water and surface water quantities.

In their conclusion, they state: the Woodland Trust objects to this application because it is felt the buffer to protect St Johns Ancient Woodland and the protected species within it are currently insufficient.

Walk to the Woodman

Join us at the Old Oak Tree at Bengeo Field, on the footpath on the site of the proposed quarry, just off Wadesmill Road (B158) at 11am on Sunday 15th May. Or meet us at the Woodman Pub in Chapmore End at midday.

This is an opportunity for members of the community on all sides of the proposed site to walk to the Woodman Pub in Chapmore End arriving at midday.

Donations are invited from walkers, but are in no way compulsory. There will be live music at the Woodman and a BBQ with all profits going to the campaign. Entertainment will be from 12-3pm.

Wear Red for the campaign and Green for our Countryside.

SBQ Walk Poster v2

Live music will be provided by Mike Excell, who will be singing his self-penned campaign song, along with support from Bengeo’s own Schrodinger’s Strings, Daisy Mae Lewis and a semi-acoustic set from Piping Shrikes, with other acts to be confirmed.

Performers links:
Schrodinger’s Strings
Daisy Mae Lewis
Piping Shrikes