Work begins on St Albbans Scouts recreation area
PUBLISHED: 18:53 17 November 2013
Neither age nor torrential rain was a barrier when it came to starting work on transforming a newly-designated recreational ground and woodland area in Harpenden.
More than 50 local beavers, cubs, scouts and explorer scouts from the 10th Harpenden group and their parents set to work on former landfill site, Crabtree Fields, which is next to their HQ off Aldwickbury Crescent.
Last year St Albans council designated Crabtree Fields as a QEII Field in Trust to mark the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics which effectively protects the site in perpetuity for recreational use by the local community.
Volunteers aged between five and 55 armed themselves with gardening tools, pickaxes and wheelbarrows to start work on clearing up the site and within a few hours and in spite of torrential rain, all visible rubbish had been cleared from the central part of the woods, including an old blue car.
A circular path running through the woods was also opened up for use.
Prior to the scout group’s involvement in the clear up, Harpenden town council had kicked things off.
The invasive species of Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed in the woodland had been sprayed and the paths received an initial brush-cut, to open up the core pathways.
Phase two will be to remove the rest of the abandoned cars and in the future, the scout group hopes to open up more of the old pathways and eventually create a walk linking the woodland with the old railway line.
Local resident and 10th Harpenden beaver scout leader, Russell Brooks, said: “We are thrilled that the area is going to be much safer and will be used by local people and community groups.
“When the project is completed Harpenden residents will be able to use the area much more and in greater safety.
“The newly protected QEII Field in Trust is going to be enjoyed by so many local children and members of the community for generations to come.”
Cllr Julian Daly, executive leader of St Albans Council, said: “It’s been great to help the scouts take forward their idea of making Crabtree Fields more welcoming for local people and permanently celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”
For more information about the plans for the QEII fields go to www.fieldsintrust.org/crabtree-fields and to get involved with scouting in Harpenden, contact Jane Murray, district commissioner at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the district website www.harpendenscouts.org.uk