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Warning : Rat Bait in use

The Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens have authorised Pest Control to set up rat poison bait boxes in the small Therfield Road carpark (see map) in order to deal with a disturbingly large – and growing – rat infestation notified to us under the 1949 Pest Act. 

The rat poison being used is Bromadiolone. As the Landowner we are obliged to deal with this matter promptly and in accordance with the Pest Act 1949.

We have authorised the placing of rat poison in secure bait boxes which are themselves then placed within the litter bins bases. This has significantly reduced the risk of any human contact with the bait.  However, we are warning all users – particularly dog walkers to be alert.  Keep young children and dogs close to you and within eye-sight to ensure that  they do not come into contact with rats/rat remains in this area. 

Additionally, we will be removing some bins (which have been damaged by the rats) so as to limit rat access to food waste and to give our pest controller the greatest chance of bringing this problem under control in the coming weeks.  Please play your part and take food waste home with you. 

Finally, a daily site visit has been established to remove visible rat remains and current litter picking activities will continue as normal.

We wish to resolve this problem as soon as possible.  However, this requires everyone to play their part. So please:

  • Be alert to the rat problem ;  warning signs are on site and in the wider area
  • Leave no food waste

All enquiries or comments can be directed to the clerk at clerk@therfieldheath.org.uk or by phone on 07449 705345.  Thank you for your understanding.

Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens

Date : Friday 16 April 2021

Map of the treatment area shown in red on the map above.

Warning Posters – like this (click here for poster) are on display.

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Public Meeting now 18 March 2021 by Zoom

Dear Residents

On Thursday 18 March 2021 at 19:00 the Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens will be hosting a public meeting by Zoom.  If you are interested in attending then please do register for the meeting.  When we receive your registration (see below) we will send you the Zoom meeting login details.

Meeting agenda

Covid-19 has prevented the holding of the February 2021 SDDR election and AGM and so the agenda of the public meeting has been formulated with this in mind and will be as below:-

1.         Welcome

2.         Introductions

3.         Update from the Conservators

  • Priorities
  • Maintenance Heath and Greens
  • Financial situation – 2019 Accounts

4.         Specific points raised for discussion (see below on how to contribute)

5.         Next steps

How to register for this Zoom meeting and contribute a question

Please use this link to register in advance for this meeting:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcuf-GgpzsvG9NnvZMDU1MypKPsbu128Oho

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.   You need only to supply your name and email address to register.  There is also the opportunity to send us a short question.  If you think of a question later then you can email it to the clerk (clerk@therfieldheath.org.uk )  and we will try to include it.  Regrettably, there may not be time to answer all questions during the meeting.  

If you haven’t used Zoom before, you don’t need an account to join this meeting;  you can access Zoom via the link  provided either through your web browser or by downloading the app when prompted. You can do this in advance of the meeting or just before we start at 19.00.

We look forward to engaging with you and to receiving your questions and comments. Conservators will be seeking to arrange a further public meeting in the summer and this will be advertised on Facebook and via our website.

The Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens

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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

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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 .

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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.

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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/

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January 2021 Lockdown – update

This advice has been updated following the Government’s lockdown announcement  on 5 January 2021. 

We are asking all those who choose to visit the Heath to respect the current government advice on social distancing especially at the entrances and car park, which can get extremely busy.   We urge everyone to abide by the government’s latest advice which is to exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person. Exercise should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area. For more information please see National lockdown: Stay at Home – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The recent wet weather, and increased use of the Heath, has resulted in some sections of the pathways being extremely muddy.  Walkers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear and be prepared for muddy and slippery conditions.  

Following the new guidance will reduce the spread of Covid-19 and reduce pressure on the NHS.  

As always, please be considerate of others and the Heath’s wildlife and ecology.

Thank you for your co-operation

The Conservators

Operational Matters:

Car Parks – Please park with consideration to other visitors.  We would ask you to not block any entrances or prevent access for emergency vehicles.  Please do not park outside the car park, or on any grass areas which can so easily be churned up.

Golf Course – The golf course is closed at present.  Please do what you can to help the Golf Club successfully operate in a ‘covid-19 secure’ way and especially socially distance from the greenkeeping staff. Please consult the golf club for further information https://www.roystongolfclub.co.uk

Bins – With the increase in visitors and the potential reduction in our contractor numbers, we ask visitors to please take their litter and any dog-waste home with them for disposal.  Please do not leave your litter at the side of the bins; it not only presents a risk to wildlife that lives on the Heath but it also presents a health risk.

Cycling – cycling is not permitted on the Heath at any time.

Toilets – there are no public toilets on site. 

Refreshments – please visit the Heath Café website for details of their operating times and facilities https://www.roystonheath.co.uk

What can you do:

Social Distancing – Social distancing measures will reduce the risk of transmitting the virus between people.  For your own safety and well-being, please follow government advice in respect of social distancing and keep at least two metres between you and other visitors.  For the safety and wellbeing of others, please do not visit Therfield Heath if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are displaying symptoms of the virus (new dry cough and/or temperature).

Please remember there are a set of bye laws in place to protect the site and to keep visitors safe. Do please check these before you visit.  The bye laws are here The Bye Laws – The Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens

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Tier 4 Update 21 Dec 2020

Therfield Heath Visitor UPDATE – 21 December 2020

With the announcement that we will be in Tier 4, the Heath remains open to visitors providing an important place for both physical and mental wellbeing.

We would ask all our visitors to take note of the following advice/restrictions. Tier 4 means that you can continue to take unlimited exercise alone, or in a public outdoor place with your household, support bubble or one other person.

Please be kind and respectful to fellow visitors – everyone needs to be able to enjoy the Heath and Greens safely.

Thank you for your co-operation,

The Conservators

Update on Facilities

Car Parks – For those who wish to travel to visit the Heath, the car parks remain open.  If one car park is full please use an alternative.  Please do park with consideration giving space to other visitors and be patient.  We would ask you to not block any entrances or prevent access for emergency vehicles.  Please do not park outside the car park, or on any grass areas.

Bins – with the likely increase in visitors, there will be an increase in the amount of rubbish.  Please help us to keep the Heath clean and tidy at all times. Take your rubbish home with you wherever possible, and particularly if bins are full.  Please do not leave your litter at the side of the bins; it not only presents a risk to wildlife that lives on the Heath, but also presents a health risk to other visitors.

Café – The Heath Café will be serving takeaway food only.  Please ensure you dispose of take away food containers or coffee cups responsibly, either in bins provided or take them home. For more information including opening times and menus go to www.roystonheath.co.uk

Toilets – there are no public toilets nearby.

Sports – Royston Golf Club remains open, please do what you can to help the Golf Club successfully operate in a ‘covid-19 secure’ way and especially socially distance from the marshals and greenkeeping staff. For more information go to www.roystongolfclub.co.uk

Dogs – We remind dog owners that if you think your dog will not recall such that you may have to break social distancing to control your dog then it should be on lead.

Cycling – Cycling is not permitted on the Heath at any time.

Bylaws – Please remember there are a set of bylaws in place to protect the site and to keep visitors safe. Do please check these before you visit.  http://www.therfieldheath.org.uk/the-bye-laws/

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Covid-19 Update 2 Dec 2020

Please see our latest update

Therfield Heath Visitor UPDATE – 2 December 2020

With the announcement that from today we will be in Tier 2, we would ask all our visitors to take note of the following advice/restrictions. The Heath and Greens remain open for households, support bubbles and groups of no more than 6 to enjoy in line with the regulations and guidance.

Golf will restart on 2 December and have introduced appropriate regulations to play safely. It is important for those who have enjoyed exercising on the fairways to be aware of golfers and the resumption of golf.

Please be kind and respectful to fellow visitors – everyone needs to be able to enjoy the Heath safely.

Thank you for your co-operation,

The Conservators

Update on Facilities

Car Parks – For those who wish to travel to visit the Heath, the car parks remain open.  If one car park is full please use an alternative.  Please do park with consideration giving space to other visitors, and be patient.  We would ask you to not block any entrances or prevent access for emergency vehicles.  Please do not park outside the car park, or on any grass areas.

Bins – with the likely increase in visitors, there will be an increase in the amount of rubbish.  Please help us to keep the Commons clean and tidy at all times. Take your rubbish home with you wherever possible, and particularly if bins are full.  Please do not leave your litter at the side of the bins; it not only presents a risk to wildlife that lives on the Common, but also presents a health risk to other visitors.

Café – The Heath Café will be serving food and drink at reserved tables and via the takeaway Hatch.  For more information including opening times, menus and to book a table go to www.roystonheath.co.uk

Toilets – there are no public toilets nearby.

Sports – It is important for those who have enjoyed exercising on the fairways to be aware of golfers and the resumption of golf.  Please do what you can to help the Golf Club successfully operate in a ‘covid-19 secure’ way and especially socially distance from the marshals and greenkeeping staff.

Dogs – We remind dog owners that if you think your dog will not recall such that you may have to break social distancing to control your dog then it should be on lead.

Cycling – Cycling is not permitted on the Heath at any time.

Bylaws – Please remember there are a set of bylaws in place to protect the site and to keep visitors safe. Do please check these before you visit.  http://www.therfieldheath.org.uk/the-bye-laws/

In addition to what has already been mentioned, we would also draw your attention to the following:

Do not light barbeques or any form of fire. The ground may be wet but fires may still spread rapidly.

Do not fly any drones or model aircraft.

We thank everyone for using the Heath responsibly.

Thank you.