Sherrardspark Wood Warden Society – 50th Anniversary Year 2016

Who we are.

Sherrardspark Wood sits within the green belt that separates Welwyn Garden City and Welwyn village, to the West.

Sherrardspark Wood Wardens’ Society is an independent voluntary group helping to care for the woods in accordance with the management plan of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WHBC), which has been agreed with Natural England and the Forestry Commission with a view to keeping this Site of Special Scientific Interest in favourable condition.

Volunteer Work Parties – Home and Away

Work parties take place on both Thursday and SSPWWW Group Six Ways Dec 2010 web_1unday and more than 20 members regularly attend. The Society puts much time and effort into the work it undertakes not only in Sherrardspark Wood but also when helping volunteers at other sites in the district.

A group of Wood Wardens regulary attends the work parties organised on the third Thursday each month by the Friends of Danesbury Local Nature Reserve in Welwyn, where they are currently much involved in the work on the Danesbury Park Fernery Restoration Project. The Wood Wardens also provide regular support to the Friends of Mardley Heath who meet on the third Sunday every month..

Celebrations

The year 2006 saw the Wood Wardens 40th year anniversary. This was celebrated with an excellent picnic in Sherrardspark Wood and a Wood Wardens’ commemorative bench was erected at Six Ways, a meeting of 6 paths within the wood.

The wood wardens enjoy the social camaraderie that has been generated within its membership, and in 2011 a Wood Wardens’ Walking Group was formed which offers a monthly walk rounded off by a pub lunch.

2016 will be the Wood Wardens 50th anniversary and a busy Programme has been arranged.

Calendar of Events

The 2016 Programme can be found on the WPAG Events Calendar. But for full details of the Wood Wardens Society and all their many activities, go to the Sherrardspark Wood Wardens website.

 

The Clock Roundabout – Traffic Light Survey

The Danesbury Residents Association (DRA) has been at the forefront trying to resolve concerns about traffic congestion issues, and specifically grid-locking which was predicted would, and has arisen, as a result of two main events:

  1. The A1(M) EXIT 6 (N) slip road changes which encouraqes traffic to make a rat-run from the A1(M) Exit slip road, along the Welwyn  By-pass and back on to the 20160222_160825Motorway at the A1(M) entry slip by the Clock,
  2. The opening of the new Clock Gardens development of 50 apartments with the potential for residents’ cars to access and egress directly onto the roundabout at rush hour in the morning and evenings

The DRA have been actively pressing for a single traffic light to be installed on the south side of the roundabout, to break up the traffic flow, which would discourage the A1(M) rat-runners and allow local traffic access to the roundabout from all directions. (For the background story – see The Clock – the seconds are ticking away)

In their quest for ‘ANSWERS’ and ”ACTION’ County Councillor Richard Smith has been actively supporting the DRA. But, until recently, the DRA has been advised that there was no way that Highways England would consider placing traffic lights at the Clock. But, it seems that things might be changing!

Recently we have noticed that County Highways have been installing temporary ANPR cameras at various points on the A1(M) Exit 6 entry and exit points, and also attached to posts on all sides of the Clock Roundabout. The use of ANPR cameras enables a subsequent analysis to match rat-running vehicles as they enter and leave the system – and thereby produce the evidence we all seek.

So, what is actually happening?

County Councillor Richard Smith has come to our rescue once again, and he extracted the following note from somebody who, by the length of his Job Title, must surely know what is going on – and judging by his response to  Richard Smith – he does!

The following extract is from a helpful email dated 6th July 2016 from County Highways Group Manager Sanjay Patel. to County Cllr. Richard Smith, and relates to ‘a Survey being carried out ‘next week’... Unfortunately we have been unable to include the ‘attached plan‘ referred to, but the explanations are nevertheless very helpful.

Re: Traffic lights/ANPR Camera Survey by J6 A1

The attached plan indicates the locations of the where the surveys will be carried out and this will provide the following information that we will use for the signals design:

*       2 day Manual classified turning counts at all 3 junctions (the Clock, A1m SB off slip / A100 junction and the A1m NB off slip / B197 junction) as shown in yellow on the attached plan.
*       2 day Queue lengths at all 3 junctions
*       2 day ANPR surveys at the locations shown as open red circles on the attached plan
*       7 day ATC or video based MCC counts at the ANPR locations.

Sanjay Patel
Group Manager – Highways Operations & Strategies Intelligent Transport Systems & Development Management & Standards
Hertfordshire County Council

 

We have all seen the orange boxes and the temporary cameras and other equipment at all sides of the roundabout, and observant residents have noticed that a visual survey of traffic entering and leaving Clock Gardens and the roundabout, has indeed started. So we know that, at last, somebody has listened to us all, and at last it appears that something is happening.

But, don’t hold your breath, this is only a Survey. As soon as we hear of further actions, we will try to keep you informed.

 

Local Plan Newsletter – Issue 10

Copy of the Newsletter

To read your own copy of the latest Newsletter from the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Planning Department, click the Local Plan Newsletter 10 July 2016 FINAL

The Local Plan – the latest stage

The Submission of the Final Draft of the Local Plan will be considered by the Borough Council’s Cabinet Housing & Planning Panel (CHPP) on 20 July and then by Cabinet on 2 August. If approved, it will be published for consultation for eight weeks commencing on 22 August and ending on 17 October at 5pm. A series of consultation events will be held across the borough and the dates and venues for these will be published on the Council’s website.

WPAG Response 

WPAG representatives will be working in a sub-group formed by the Welwyn Parish Council’s Planning & Licensing Committee, and representatives of the Welwyn Parish Plan Action Group, to co-ordinate a response to the Borough Council  from Welwyn’s community..

The WPAG is also making plans to highlight the various proposals within the Final Draft Local Plan, as they affect the Parish of Welwyn,  in a series of articles to be posted on this website. These posts will include a summary of the sites selected for housing in Welwyn.

Your Comments

WPAG members will be able to post their comments on the website blog, and in this way, help us shape our contribution to the Welwyn Parish Council sub-group.

The Borough Council will of course be inviting the general public to comment direct to them as part of the Consultation Process.