Pick up Litter – Sunday 8th March

The Welwyn Village Pick Up  Group will be picking up litter on Sunday March 8th.

Please come along and help us keep Welwyn clear of litter.

Meet at the Car Park in Welwyn Village High Street, opposite the Doctors’ Surgery at 11.am.

Bags and litter picking tools will be available.





Meet at 11am in the car park

New Barnfield – a belated update

We reported in February 2013 that the Secretary of State had called in Veolia’s Planning Application to build an incinerator at New Barnfield and that a Public Enquiry was to be held.

For the record, and because this website was off-air at the time, we now report that following the Public Enquiry the planning permission, previously granted, was overturned in July 2014 by the Planning Inspector acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Local Government, Eric Pickles.

So it’s over. There will be no waste incinerator in Hatfield.

Luton Airport – a news update

In Welwyn, have you recently been irritated or disturbed by the noise of an aircraft taking off or landing at Luton Airport?

If you have, then you are certain to be interested in, and supportive of, the work being undertaken by a group of volunteers nearby who operate under the banner LADACAN which stands for Luton And District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise.

LADACAN has a very good website which will keep you up-to-date with all their latest activities and actions. Click on LADACAN now, or go to our Links Page when you have more time.

Their website presents an easy to read summary of:

What is currently happening?
Luton Airport has just completed a consultation on the introduction of a new technology called RNAV to control aircraft navigation. It is intended to keep aircraft more closely on the designated routes, though the initial trials in spring of 2013 showed that there were problems with accuracy. The results of the consultation will be announced shortly – for more details click here >>

The Noise Action Plan for Luton Airport is currently being reviewed and updated, and LADACAN is involved in the consultation. The plan – often dubbed a Noise Inaction Plan – is woefully short of real actions designed to drive down noise, and we are seeking to influence the airport operators LLAOL to give it more teeth. For more on this story and to see the LADACAN response, click here >>

The Planning Conditions which emerged as a result of the recently granted expansion planning application represent a new approach to trying to control noise, using a Quota Count system. People feel that while quota counts may incentivise the use of slightly quieter aircraft, they permit many more flights – and it is planes going overhead which annoy them. For more on this story and to see the LADACAN input, click here >>

Village Clean Up Group – Bags of success

On 24th February a resilient bunch of supporters turned up on a very cold Sunday morning at the High Street Car Park for a briefing from the Group leader, Sarah Butcher, and equipping with litter pickers and SERCO bags, before being sent on missions to far flung parts of the village.

Within the space of a few hours, the Group managed to fill 10 bags of litter, including assorted hub caps, car bumpers, traffic cones, metal, wood and one rather nice bike!!

More volunteers are encouraged to join this worthy volunteer Group.

For a full report, and details of how you can join, please go to Welwyn Village Clean Up Group.

Follow the link for details of the next scheduled meeting.

Welwyn Village Clean Up Group Picks Up

Sarah Butcher is the Co-ordinator of the Welwyn Village Clean Up Group which meets periodically to pick up litter at various points around the village.

The Group is in need of more help to increase their overall effectiveness, and they aim to achieve this by appointing lead volunteers, equipping them to manage their chosen local ‘patch’, and then encouraging them to organise litter picking on a regular basis..

The Group currently has many roads ‘signed up’ including; Danesbury Park Road and surrounds, the Danesbury Local Nature Reserve, Oakhill Drive and Fulling Mill Lane and surrounds, Wendover Drive and the top end of Church Street and surrounds, School Lane and Surrounds. Although quite impressive as a list, it is clear that there are many large gaps in and around the village.

The next Group meeting is being held on Sunday 24th February at 11 a.m. in the car park opposite the Doctors’ surgery. Sarah Butcher, the Group Co-ordinator will be on hand to offer bags and equipment etc. to volunteers.

If you would like to ‘adopt’ a road near you please call Sarah Butcher on 07885 875977 or email   and turn up at the Group meeting on Sunday 24th February if you can, to get equipped and briefed.


Luton Airport – Resist Flying at Night


Night flights at Luton Airport are currently unregulated and affect far more people than at London City Airport, which has a night movements curfew. Planes from Luton Airport are much bigger, and there are plans to almost double the existing 8,500 night flights per annum. There are more night movements at Luton than at Heathrow. The World Health Organisation links noise disturbance at night to serious health problems. We are calling for a significant reduction in night flights at Luton Airport instead of the further increase which is being proposed.

LADACAN has joined with other local campaign groups to run an online petition for a reduction in night flights at Luton.

Aircraft over-flying Welwyn at night-time are more likely to cause disturbance to Welwyn residents than those flying daytime hours.

To support LADACAN’S Petition –  go to:


WPAG is  a supporter of LADACAN – to learn about their aims and objectives, please see the piece we published recently under the Headline ‘Fasten your Seatbelts‘.


Luton Airport – Fasten your seatbelts

Check In

Few of us knew much about Luton Airport until we watched, and heard (!) Lorraine Chase on the Campari TV advert in 1976.

There have of course been many developments in the years since, which have impacted residents living nearer to the Airport more than those in Welwyn. But those living under the flight paths are affected too, and here in Welwyn, we have all noticed the increasing number of aircraft overflying Digswell,  Oaklands and Mardley Heath, and Danesbury, to the north of Welwyn village.

Safety Precautions

To keep a watching brief, WPAG supports the activities of a group named   LADACAN – Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, to whom we pay an annual subscription.

Established in 1968, at a time when Luton Airport proposed a significant expansion of its operations, they are a well organised residents’ group with a professional approach. LADACAN is primarily concerned with the impact of Luton Airport on the surrounding communities.

LADACAN attracts huge support from all affected communities around the airport, and was much involved in various public inquiries into the Airport’s plans in the 1970s.

Departure Lounge – Relax while you are waiting.

We must be realistic. Most of us would acknowledge that Welwyn is not ‘blighted’ by the presence of Luton Airport, and many of us do enjoy the convenience that the local connection offers, (even though we might find fault with much else there).

Clear for Take Off?

Welwyn comes into the category ‘affected community’ and WPAG has concerns in the following two main areas:

a) noise from over-flying aircraft needs to be contained.

b) airport traffic adds to congestion on the A1(M), and the B656.

We have reason to be concerned because of current plans for major expansion of ground service facilities at the Airport, and the introduction of a taxi-way:

  •  The purpose of the proposed taxi-way is to increase flights
  •  An increase in aircraft movements leads to more frequent overflying
  •  Increased passenger and freight traffic is expected.
  •  Surrounding communities and the road network will feel the pressure.

Navigational Controls

LADACAN, through its connections, has a voice in these areas of debate. They hold a seat on the Airport Consultative Committee to influence the airport and local authorities.

LADACAN works with other groups, both national and local, to share experience and expertise.

Some Turbulence Ahead

LADACAN made history in 2005 by successfully challenging the White Paper, The Future of Air Transport, in the High Court.

The new proposals for expansion of the Airport (2012) will demand a good deal of work and campaigning if the quality of life of those living nearby is not to deteriorate further.

The coalition government has started work on a new national policy for aviation.

A Smooth Landing?

LADACAN continues its efforts to ensure that a reasonable balance is struck between the airport operation and the peace and quiet of the area around the airport. Without LADACAN, current airport operations would have been considerably more troublesome than they are presently. To keep up-to-date with what is going on at Luton Airport, go to the LADACAN website.

Had an enjoyable flight?

Then join WPAG and help us in our support of LADACAN.

We think we are worth it.

“Soda? No, lemonade”!







New Barnfield – Public Enquiry

We reported in November that this Waste Management Development in Hatfield had been ‘put on hold’ as a result of action by the Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government.

It has now been confirmed that on Monday 28th January the Secretary of State has ‘called-in’ Veolia’s Planning Application to build an incinerator at New Barnfield, Hatfield.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times 30.1.13 reports that a letter sent to Hertfordshire County Council states:

The Secretary of State is of the opinion that application is one he ought to decide himself because he considers the proposal concerns matters that give rise to a substantial cross boundary or national controversy’.

There will now be a public inquiry.

For news of the local fight against this development, go to the website created by the Hatfield Anti-Incinerator campaigners.






New Plan to Improve the River Mimram

David Cheek, of the Friends of the Mimram kindly submitted the following Report.

Plenty of projects planned to improve the River Mimram are about to start. Improving the quality of this rare chalk stream, the wildlife and our accessibility to enjoy it. From Jan 23rd see what’s happening at www.beaneandmimrampartnership.org.

The Friends of the Mimram, in conjunction with the Herts Middx Wildlife Trust have developed a Catchment Management Plan to improve the river quality to help meet EU Water Framework Directive guidelines and this is being presented as a dynamic website, which will evolve as the projects come to fruition. The projects have been developed in consultation with other local conservation groups, parish councils, Welhat Borough Council,   HCC and the Environment Agency.

One of the projects will start in Singlers Marsh this winter. Chalk streams should have crystal clear water flowing over gravel. After years of low flows, silt has built up to 2’ deep in the river at the top end and trees have overgrown keeping out the sunlight which stops vegetation growing. So HMWT have managed to get some funding for an Environment Agency plan to dig out the silt from a section of the river opposite the Vineyards and replace it with gravel, while also pollarding some trees to let in the light. The Friends of the Mimram will also clear some of the scrub away form the river bank and maintain a footpath along the river so that we can enjoy it. Meanwhile the Friends will also continue the work near Singlers Bridge to narrow the river slightly to increase the flow and achieve the same effect.

If the trial is successful, it will be extended upstream when more funds become available. More information on http://www.friendsofthemimram.co.uk/improvements.html.

All this assumes there will be water in the river – but we will have to keep on lobbying to achieve that.  See the latest on the Friends website http://www.friendsofthemimram.co.uk/campaign.html

Singlers Marsh – New Year Project

A river enhancement project is planned to take place during January and February 2013 at the north end of Singlers Marsh. David Cheek, of the Friends of the Mimram volunteer group will be producing an article for this website which will detail the work being planned.

Our local volunteer group, the Friends of Singlers Marsh, manage projects which cover the southern ‘recreational’ end of Singlers Marsh, and the northern ‘Local Nature Reserve’ too. (The Friends of Singlers Marsh are represented on the WPAG Committee).

As you would expect, the Friends of Singlers Marsh work closely with the Friends of the Mimram, whose flow of interest naturally follows the full length of the River.

Singlers Marsh offers a unique amenity value to the community of Welwyn, not least as the site of the Annual Welwyn Festival Families’ Fun Day. Over the past year the WPAG has worked closely in support of the Friends of Singlers Marsh to encourage both the WHBC, and the Welwyn Parish Council (WPC), to respond to their responsibility for properly maintaining this priceless site.

(The WHBC are the Land Owners of Singlers Marsh, and the WPC pass on the costs of maintenance to us, the ratepayers, within their Annual Precept).