Campaign Stall Attracts Hundreds

Hundreds of people visited our stall at Hertford Market on Saturday 18th February. Local residents and shoppers stopped and shared their concerns with fellow campaigners and councillors who were there throughout the day.  Visitors to the stall expressed concern about how close the quarry would be to a school and residential areas. One man said he had only just moved to Hertford, and if he had known about the plans he certainly would not have come to the area. Local people were also unaware that their water supply comes from the Wadesmill Road boreholes.

Local Councillors lending their support on the day included Cllr Andrew Stevenson (Hertfordshire County Council), Cllr Michael McMullen (East Herts District Council), Cllr Sally Newton (Hertford Town Council) and the Mayor of Hertford, Cllr Linda Radford.

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Campaign Stall on Hertford Market

The Stop Bengeo Quarry Campaign will have a stall on Hertford Market this coming Saturday 18th February, from 9am to 4pm. Members of the public and supported will have an opportunity to discuss the revised Bengeo quarry proposal, the current public consultation, the campaign’s response, and the preparations for the HCC Development Control Committee, currently believed to be 22nd March.

We will also be joined at 11am by County Councillor Andrew Stevenson.

Download our new campaign leaflet below.

Tree Walk Ends Summer Challenge

Stop Bengeo Quarry campaigners and supporters celebrated the end of the Bengeo Field Summer Challenge last Sunday by joining a walk to the Lonely Oak Tree in the middle of the field.

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There were activities on the route, including a sports challenge, stone painting, tree games and activities. At the tree there was a whole variety of delicious cakes as well as small gifts for children who completed the Summer Challenge.

The organisers would like to thank all the supporters. The campaign against the Bengeo quarry proposal continues, with the HCC Development Control Committee expected most likely to take place on 21 December at 10 am at the County Hall.

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Bengeo Quarry Update

On Tuesday 6 September around 180 residents attended the Stop Bengeo Quarry meeting focused on the latest developments of the Bengeo quarry proposal. The meeting was held at Bengeo Primary School, which is only 320 metres from the site of the proposed gravel quarry.

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Campaigners presented a brief update on the main areas of concerns and objections against the quarry proposal, including an overview of the responses submitted to HCC date (all available on HCC website, as well as www.stopbengeoquarry.org.uk).

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Bengeo Quarry Update Meeting

Tuesday 6 September 2016, 8pm – 9.30pm at Bengeo Primary School

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Find out the latest on the Bengeo quarry situation and the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign. Please join us for updates on the:
* Bengeo quarry proposal
* Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign
* Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan proposal

Participants will include:
* Andrew Stevenson, County Councillor
* Terry Betts, Chairman of Hertford Civic Society
* George Sandell, Chairman of CAGE campaign
* Dr Bryan Lovell, Senior Research Fellow in Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge, and former President of the Geological Society of London
* Hilary Durbin, Lower Bengeo Residents’ Association (LOBRA)
* Ben Penrose, Molewood Residents’ Association (MRA)
* Adam Taylor, Watermill Estate Residents’ Association (WERA)
* campaigners from Stop Bengeo Quarry

You will be able to support the campaign:
* buy your “Love Bengeo” bag
* order your Bengeo Field postcards with the winning photos from our competition
* watch the films from the Stop Bengeo Quarry events
* sign up for Stop Bengeo Quarry update newsletters

You may want to read the official statutory responses to the Bengeo quarry proposal. They are available on the HCC website. They currently include responses from:
* Environmental Agency * HCC Ecology * Woodland Trust * Lead Local Flood Authority * Flood Risk Management * HCC Highway * Affinity Water * HCC Archaeology * East Herts District Council * Hertford Civic Society * Campaign to Protect Rural England * Bengeo Rural Parish Council * HCC Landscape.

Bengeo Field Summer Challenge in August

bengeo_summer_field_challengeThe task for August is simple and you can do it when you have time:

  • Visit the Bengeo Field Lonely Oak Tree
  • Tie a ribbon, a message, or another type of decoration (you will need it to bring with you).
  • Find the treasure hunt box near the tree and open it. Every child can help themselves to one of the treasured contents of the box. Please just leave your name and age on the list inside. Please make sure to close the box tightly so rain can’t damage the content inside.
  • Find a stamp attached to the tree. Please stamp your Bengeo Field Summer Challenge card, even if it is already full of stamps. If you haven’t got a card, there will be brand new ones in the box, so you can start the challenge now.
  • Enjoy the walk, take some photos, post them on facebook
It’s fun and easy. And it starts on Sunday 31 July and finishes end of Sunday 21 August. Hope you enjoy it!

600 People Attend Field Fun Day

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

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