Community litter pick along the River Ver

River Ver in Sopwell Nunnery Green SpaceFor this year’s World Rivers Day (always held on the last Sunday of September), there will be a COMMUNITY LITTER PICK along the River Ver, including the stretch of the river passing through the Sopwell Nunnery Green Space.

The event will be on Sunday morning, September 27th.

The celebration of the River Ver has been organised by local Neighbourhood Watch groups of St Albans, Park Street and Bricket Wood, along with local Councillor and veteran of litter picks, Cllr Jessica Chivers.

To respect the uniqueness and rarity of the River Ver, the Ver Valley Society have provided advice on the environmental concerns and the care needed to be taken whilst collecting rubbish along and in the river.

COME AND JOIN US!

Choose A STARTING POINT to suit you from 4 DIFFERENT MEETING POINTS:

  • 10:30 in Verulamium Park by the athletics track – meet up with Jessica
  • 10:45 at the bottom of Holywell Hill, next to the bridge over the River Ver – meet up with Cathi
  • 10:00 meeting in the car park Hyde Lane, Frogmore – meet with Peter
  • 11:00 meeting in the car park Riverside Way, Drop Lane – meet with John

Bags will be provided. There will also be some litter pickers for the early arrivals. To protect yourselves, you are recommended to wear long trousers, and long sleeves, stout shoes or wellingtons. Please bring gardening gloves and, if you have them, secateurs. For the fishermen out there, (chest) waders and poles to check the depth of the river are good too. Waterproofs are advisable.


World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways. It highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness and encourages the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.

“Rivers are the arteries of our planet; they are lifelines in the truest sense.”

~ Mark Angelo

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Willow tunnel pruning party on Weds, 8th July

Willow tunnel in need of pruning (Jun15)As you can see in the photo, our willow tunnel is in need of some pruning and tying in to get back into shape.

To this end, we are organising a Willow Tunnel Pruning Party on Wednesday, 8th July, starting at 4:30pm.

Hazel Godfrey, the willow weaving lady, will be leading us and give expert advice. A chance to learn how to do it from the best!

Please do come along with your secateurs and a willing pair of hands to help. And feel free to bring a picnic and make a social occasion of it. It should be fun!

The willow tunnel is located near the start of the boardwalk when coming from Cottonmill Lane.

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Bat walk on Thursday, 20th August

Common Pipistrelle batOn Thursday, 20th August 2015, from 7:30pm until 9:30pm, the Countryside Management Service and the Ware Bat Group would like you to join them for an evening guided walk at Sopwell Nunnery.

With good weather and a bit of luck you should be able to see and hear some of the local bat population along with other evening wildlife.

The event is free but pre-booking is essential as spaces are limited. You can book on-line here.

Please wear suitable clothing and sturdy footwear and bring a torch.

For further details, contact Michael Iseard, CMS Projects Officer:
Email: michael.iseard@hertfordshire.gov.uk
Phone: 01992 556 388

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Springtime Herbs and History Walks

Herbs & History Walk Spring 2015Come and enjoy the plants that are in flower or leaf in this season in a circular walk through the beautiful natural environment in the Sopwell area of St Albans, including the WWA Nature Reserve.

Walk leader and historian, Juliana Wakefield, will tell you the traditional medicinal uses of the plants and other folklore. You can also learn a few simple home remedies that can be made from the plants we see.

Friday 29th & Saturday 30th May, 2pm – 4pm

£7 per person (dogs go free!)

To book, phone Julie on 07929 005 623 or email Julie.Wakefield@hotmail.co.uk

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Sopwell History, Environment and Archaeology Walk

Sopwell Nunnery RuinsJoin the Countryside Management Service (CMS) and the Sopwell Residents Association (SRA) on a short guided walk to explore the fascinating history, environment and archaeology of Sopwell Nunnery Green Space by the river Ver.

Sunday, 10th May 2015, starting at 2pm. We will meet by the seats on Cottonmill Lane opposite the “Nunnery” ruins. Free.

You will also have the opportunity to learn about the future plans for the management of the site.

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Willow tunnel repairs needed – aargh!

Our willow tunnel had been vandalised. 😦

When our willow weaving expert went to do the annual general spring tidying of the willow tunnel, paid for by the Sopwell Residents Association, she found the tunnel had been damaged.

Fortunately, Hazel Godfrey, the wonderful willow weaving lady, was able to repair the damage. And she has done a neat job of tying and weaving in the spring growth. Thanks Hazel!

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Lighting up the Nunnery?

We’ve had a letter from one of our Sopwell residents in which the question was posed, why do we not floodlight the Nunnery Ruins, as it is one of the most iconic features in our environment? Could we not use solar power to light up the ruin?

Example of floodlighted ruins elsewhere

Example of floodlighted ruins elsewhere

What are your thoughts? Please leave us a comment below.

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Vandalism and illegal fishing

Ver path next to allotments near Alban Way bridgeThe fence opposite the allotments by the river has been vandalised and this has been reported to the council.

There have also been cases of people fishing in the river Ver for trout. This is an offence!

Notices have been put up in the past but the vandals tear them down. The council will be putting up new ones shortly.

If you see anybody fishing or vandalising the fence or tearing down notices etc, please report the matter to Nick Sherriff at St Albans City & District Council on 01727 819 584.

Spread the word, please. Thank you.

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Essential gas pipe repairs on the Alban Way

Location plan for gas main repairs The National Grid intends to carry out emergency essential repair work at the Alban Way, St Albans. The work will entail repairs to the gas leaks in the 12” diameter gas main at the side of the bridge over River Ver.

A scaffold structure will be erected at the bridge location to facilitate access to the pipe and will not obstruct the movements of any of the pedestrian or cycle traffic using the path.

The location of the work is illustrated on the attached plan. The work is planned to start on 10 October and will take approximately one week to complete.

Continue reading

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Please vote for us in the Green Flag Award competition

Green Flag Awards logoThe Sopwell Nunnery Green Space site has received a Green Flag Award each year since 2007.  The award is given by a team of expert judges and recognises well managed parks and open spaces in the UK. The scheme has become the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces.

In recent years, there has also been an annual competition in which the general public can pick their favourite from the Green Flag Award sites. This year’s competition is called the People’s Choice Award 2014.

To vote for us, visit our page on the Green Flag Awards website and click the “Vote for this Site” button. It’s as simple as that; no questions asked and no forms to fill in!

Voting closes on Tuesday, 30th September.

The winning site will be announced on Thursday, 16th October 2014.

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