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Countryside

The Friends of Danesbury Local Nature Reserve (FOD) is a volunteer group which has been organising monthly Work Parties throughout the year for some 20 years. Notices of our meetings are advertised in the community, and on the Nature Reserve itself. We are currently about 20 members strong, but over the years numbers have fluctuated. But we gain added support from other local volunteer groups: the Friends of Mardley Heath and the Sherrardspark Wood Wardens. when we schedule more demanding project-based work.

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Our December walk of just under 4½ miles starts and finishes in Bencroft Wood West car park and runs through well-wooded countryside in Broxbourne Borough to the west of the A10 and south of Hertford.

The route is relatively flat with a few short ascents and descents.

This 3.4 mile circular walk takes in some of the rolling open countryside and woodland in the middle of the county.  The walk is centred on rural Symondshyde for which the submitted Welwyn Hatfield District Local Plan proposes a new settlement of 1130 homes.  The local campaign group Save Symondshyde and CPRE Herts continue to campaign against this damaging proposal, which would remove a swathe of rural countryside from the Green Belt.  The walk starts and finishes in Coleman Green, southeast of Wheathampstead.

Our October walk is at Bygrave Common in North Hertfordshire, to the northeast of Baldock.  The walk is easily accessible by public transport as it starts and finishes at Baldock railway station.  Bygrave Common is an area of the Green Belt for which the submitted North Hertfordshire Local Plan proposes 2,800 new homes along with a retail centre, school, doctors surgery and other infrastructure.  If developed, it would destroy the landscape and its wildlife habitats, remove high grade agricultural land from production, cause coalescence of Lower Bygrave with Baldock, and nearly double the physical footprint of Baldock.

Our September walk of just under 6 miles explores Green Belt countryside in North Hertfordshire District to the east of Luton. The walk described starts and finishes in Breachwood Green, goes north-east through King’s Walden to reach Ley Green, then heads south-west to Tea Green, on the edge of the area proposed for housing.

Our August Walk of the Month is a 4.5 mile out-and-back linear walk on the middle portion of The Nickey Line, starting and finishing in Redbourn and taking in some of the northern part of the "East Hemel" Green Belt area threatened with development.

Our July walk of just under 6¾ miles, created by Elizabeth Hamilton explores Green Belt countryside in North Hertfordshire District to the north of Stevenage. There is an optional detour into the Stevenage Borough Council area to see more of Forster Country, the open countryside between Graveley and the edge of Stevenage.

The walk described starts and finishes in the village of Weston, runs along part of the Hertfordshire Way passing through the deserted mediaeval village of Chesfield, and also visits Graveley.

Throughout 2018, our walk each month will feature the corresponding site in our "Countryside Under Threat" calendar. Our aim is to highlight these sites and raise their profile in aid of local campaigns to prevent their inappropriate development.

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