Since joining the Green Party in November I have been going along to local meetings and when there was a call for candidates to stand in the local council elections I volunteered. The aim was to get a Green Party candidate on the ballot for all wards of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and I agreed to stand in my own ward, Hatfield West, where I have lived for over 20 years. Hatfield also has a Town Council and three seats were up for election in West Ward so I offered to put myself forward for that as well.
About a hundred metres down my road is the entrance to Oxleys Wood, also known locally as Badger Wood (though I have never seen any evidence of badgers). Just inside the wood there is a marshy pond which currently features an amazing display of Hottonia palustris (Water Violet, Featherfoil). In the foreground and somewhat out of focus is Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag), and though not an aquatic plant I couldn’t resist including a photo of Rosa Canina (dog rose) growing a few feet from the water’s edge.
On Sunday afternoon I set off to join a family oriented cycle ride organised by the Welwyn Hatfield Cycling Forum of which I am an active member. This particular ride started at the Wrestler’s Bridge and headed off along the Alban Way to end up at the North London Society of Model Engineers Colney Heath railway site. I arrived at the start point just before the planned departure time but there was a delay setting off due to a flat tyre which required somebody to pop over to Hatfield Cycles for a new inner tube. The weather was good and once we got going the ride was very pleasant. There were about a dozen of us including a few kids and we made good time – either we are getting better at shepherding groups across road junctions or the kids are getting more confident – probably both. When we arrived I immediately sat down at a picnic table to eat my thermos of left over vegetable curry while others went to get tea at the station cafe or queued for rides on the miniature trains which were enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
Adam waves from a passing train.
We didn’t cycle back together but went our separate ways and I headed home to take my neighbour’s dogs for a walk. Another successful ride; we are getting good at this. You are welcome to join us for our next outing on 3rd September to the Earthworks Harvest Fair.
On Sunday morning I got up reasonably early to join volunteers clearing litter at a local pond. The area around Minster Pond is wooded and bounded on one side by a fairly busy road called Bishops Rise which leads to the garage where students go to buy snacks and drinks. Walking back along the pavement many of them obviously toss their empties over the low wooden fence so there was plenty of stuff to pick up. I think I remember Minster Pond as being a proper pond a long time ago but it is now more of a marsh and could do with being dredged, although that may not be possible because it is apparently home to crested newts which are a protected species. Apart from the usual bottles, cans, crisp packets etc we found hypodermic syringes, pint glasses, traffic cones, a rusty bike and assorted oddments – I took home a length of heavy duty cable with a scrap value of about a tenner and a sledgehammer that could do with a new handle. The event was organised by Cllr Dean Archer and was reported in the local paper (at least in the online version).
I rent a council garage in a block at the end of my terrace, using it to store my Guzzi T3 along with assorted junk which might prove useful one day. There is a clear sign which prohibits the dumping of rubbish in the forecourt but that doesn’t stop it happening and a I think there have been a couple of occasions when the council have removed a pile of stuff. Over the last few months a new pile had been developing at the far end and there was more and more rubbish blowing round and drifting against the doors. It is well known that people are more likely to litter if there is already litter lying around, and since the council seem to have their hands full dealing with a new system of collecting domestic waste I decided a couple of days ago to take matters into my own hands: