It is proposed that cattle should be brought to graze each summer in one field in the grounds. Years ago the fields were put to hay, and a local farmer cut them and took the hay early each summer; he didn’t charge for his labour and we did not charge for the hay. Now there is no demand for hay, and in recent years the grass has been cut and taken away in late summer, at considerable cost to the local authority and inconvenience to walkers when the grass is high.
A possible solution is to introduce grazing from about June to September. The field in question is the large L-shaped field stretching from Wood Walk and the Community Woodland down to the woods near the River Chess. The field would have to be stock-fenced and include a 3-stranded barbed wire, but there would be “kissing gates” at several access points, and people would remain free to walk through – though obviously it would be wise to keep dogs on a lead. The presence of cattle will keep the grass under control and permit the growth of wild flowers.
There are two options for fencing. One would be to have the new fence close to the existing old iron fences. This would not be too obtrusive, but it would mean walkers not wanting to encounter cows would have to use the paths in the surrounding woods.
The second option would be to place the fence several metres in from the current borders so there would be a perimeter walk around the field, still with the option to cut across it though the gates. This fence would be much more obvious.
Three Rivers District Council and the Hertfordshire Countryside Management Service are keen to get the opinion of those who use Chorleywood House grounds. Please send comments (before mid-October 2010) on what you think of the proposals, and preferences for fencing to:
Kay Fizgerald, Three Rivers District Council, Northway, Rickmansworth WD3 1RL
Petrina Llewellyn, Countryside Management Services, Hixberry Lane, St Albans AL4 0TZ
In addition, please send copies of any emails to Tim Venner, FOCWHE Membership Secretary.
N.B. More information, including details of the exact location of Field J, can be found on the Three Rivers DC website.