Ground Nesting Birds

Ground Nesting Birds on Therfield Heath

Lots of you will be aware that it is that time of year again….the Skylarks and Meadow Pipits are singing across Therfield Heath and they are now starting to nest. We understand Therfield Heath is a great place to walk and to exercise your dogs, but please please consider the inhabitants of the site. Wherever you are on site, there are likely to be some Skylarks and even rarer Meadow Pipits trying to nest in the longer grass. The easiest way to help these birds succeed is by keeping to the obvious pathways and keeping your dog(s) with you on those tracks. Repeated disturbance by dogs that run through the grass and those that specifically ‘quarter’, such as spaniels, causes the birds to abandon their nests – it may be the eggs or the young that they abandon, but it will lead to breeding failure.

Having conducted a recent survey, we found ground-nesting birds almost everywhere across the site, but that some areas have higher densities than others. So you know where these areas are, we have produced a map. The red areas on the map (mostly downhill of the chalk track) show where the highest density were found, the blue are intermediate and the green area is where the lowest density were found.

These birds are already threatened, so please be mindful of their presence on site, at least until the end of the breeding season at the end of July/beginning of August. We are going to put up a few reminder signs around the two larger ‘red zone’ areas, but not in other bird populated areas but hope people will still think about the birds and keep to the paths with their dogs.

Thank you so much for your consideration

The Conservators of Therfield Heath & Greens


Warden and Conservation Outreach Officer -Vacancy

If you have a love of landscapes, history and wildlife and are keen to help the public get more involved in championing and caring for special places this is an excellent opportunity.

We are looking for someone to join us and play a leading role in showcasing the Heath’s unique ecology, history, and conservation. Someone who can hit the ground running; highly organised, collaborative, creative, tenacious, and who has the gravitas and experience to help us maintain and improve the site.

Salary: £32,500 pa (£13,000 pro rata)

Hours: 14 hours per week

Contract: Fixed Term – 12 months

Expenses: Reasonable travel expenses and a phone will be provided  

Applicants should send a covering letter and CV, with two professional referees to Carol Fossick, Clerk clerk@therfieldheath.org.uk

Closing Date: Monday 15th March

Interviews: 25th and 26th March – initial interview will be held via Zoom.

The full job advertisement and person specification which sets out the role, responsibilities and required skills which can be downloaded here .


Please be kind

On behalf of the Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens may we remind all Heath and Greens visitors to be kind and respectful to their fellow visitors – everyone needs to be able to enjoy the Heath and Greens safely especially during these difficult times.

We are very grateful to everyone who remains vigilant to what’s happening on the Heath and to all those volunteers who’ve been helping by collecting litter.

We are working closely with the Police when we have reports of antisocial behaviour and we are very grateful for any information received.

If you see anything that seems or looks suspicious then please contact the police on 101, or 999 where there is a danger to life. 

Please note that our mobile phone 07449705345 is not manned 24/7 so please leave a message if there’s no answer and we will endeavour to respond as soon as possible. 

Thank you for your continued support in protecting the Heath and Greens for us all to enjoy.


Update from the Chair of the Conservators on Elections and Public Meeting

Last February Clare Swarbrick was voted in as a conservator to represent the residents of the Special Drainage District of Royston and at her first meeting Ms Swarbrick received unanimous support to take over as chair.

Ms Swarbrick said: “It’s been a roller coaster of a year, with COVID-19. It’s been great that so many people have been enjoying Therfield Heath and Greens but with this has come pressure on infrastructure and maintenance. The Heath receives no funding from Town, District or County Councils and many of our tenants continue to be adversely affected by the crisis.

With the ongoing challenges around holding physical meetings, and government guidance that elections and canvassing cannot restart until at least May, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone February’s election for a representative of Special Drainage District of Royston and carry a vacancy until the next available opportunity. However, the Stint holder elections are able to go ahead, and official notices are published in this week’s Royston Crow.”

The Conservators remain committed to openness and transparency and have announced an online meeting for residents and visitors on Thursday 11th March at 19.30, for more information on this and the upcoming elections go to http://www.therfieldheath.org.uk/