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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Discover Walk Film

More than 150 people came to join the Bengeo Field Discovery Walk organised by Stop Bengeo Quarry campaigners.

The walk was organised as a treasure hunt trail with a map leading friends and families along the by-way across the field, past the lonely oak tree, St John’s Wood and around the edge of the field past the old Rickney’s quarry.

Interviewed for the film made of the day, Mark Lynch, one of the co-founders of the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign, said, “This quarry will destroy a magnificent open space, which is the only open space we have North of Hertford. It’s ridiculously close to the local school and, as many people have said, you wouldn’t put a school next to a quarry so why on earth are they putting a quarry next to the school?”

The support for the walk underlines the importance of this area for the local community. If the proposed quarry goes ahead the Bengeo Field as we know it will be destroyed. It is a place which brings the community together at weekends and throughout the week – loved by families, ramblers, cyclists, dog walkers, horse riders – and is a link between local communities in Chapmore End, Crouchfields and Hertford.

Bengeo Field Summer Challenge

love_bengeo_ident_200We are delighted to launch our Bengeo Field Summer Challenge. You are invited to join us for a number of Stop Bengeo Quarry events throughout this summer. At each event you will be able to collect a stamp on your personalised loyalty card. Those who collect the most stamps will be entered into a prize draw and the prizes are amazing – in both children and adult categories. More information about forthcoming events will be announced on our website and Facebook page.

BENGEO FIELD DISCOVERY WALK

And why not start the the Bengeo Field Summer Challenge at the first event – on Sunday 19 th June. It couldn’t be easier – you need to turn up at the Sacombe Rd Park (between the Wick and Buckwells Field) to get your map and challenge instructions for the Discovery Walk. The start is between 10-10.45. The map will guide you through the Bengeo Field and all 8 challenges on the way. You will need to bring: a camera/mobile, a pen/pencil (we will have spare), and a drink. You can also bring a ribbon/decoration for the lonely oak tree. The walk will be approximately 45-60 mins (there is a longer and shorter option) and you will finish back at Sacombe Rd Park. Once you complete the Discovery Walk you will receive a Bengeo Field Summer Challenge card with your first stamp!

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Bengeo Quarry Campaign Gets Set For a Summer of Fun

The campaign against proposals for a quarry just over 300 metres from Bengeo Primary School is gathering momentum with a summer of activities being planned.

Plans are underway for Bengeo Field Fun Day on Sunday 10th July with live music from local bands, food and drink and activities for all ages including a fancy dress competition and the Great Bengeo Bake Off. The event will take place on the playing fields of Bengeo Primary School between 12 and 4pm. There will also be an opportunity to talk to local councillors about the quarry proposals.

In the meantime, this Sunday (19th June) will see supporters have another chance to walk the field and take part in a treasure trail beginning at Sacombe Rd park at 10am. The route should take around an hour and everyone is welcome. Treasure maps can be bought on the day.

The campaign has gained support across Hertford and surrounding villages and it is now pleased to announce that Chapmore End Association has joined the campaign.

So far more than 870 letters of objection have been sent to planning officers at Hertfordshire County Council, but there is still an opportunity to voice your objection.

Why Fundraising

Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign has so far been run at next to no cost, thanks to the generosity and commitment of all involved. Even most printing was done for free. To ensure adequate funding for a professional planning consultant to represent our communities and to provide the finance to pay for very specific investigations and research, we need your financial support. Any donation, large or small, will be most gratefully received. At the moment we are asking for your support through fundraising events.

If you have any experience in fundraising, or have any ideas which can help the campaign, please contact us via our website.

Thank you for your fantastic support to stop the Bengeo quarry.

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

ea-image

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.