At a special meeting held at County Hall Hertford on Tuesday evening the 17th October, the Friends of Danesbury Local Nature Reserve, represented by John Roper and Andrew Beattie, were awarded a Commendation in the Community category of the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Rural Living Awards. The Award was presented on behalf of the CPRE by the Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Cllr. Lynne Sparks.
Photo by CPRE with permission
This was a tough section with 9 nominations overall. The Friends had originally been nominated by two separate people/bodies for both the Environment and the Community categories. Happily the judges had decided that the better nomination should be for the Community category, which resulted in an excellent Commendation.
The judges commented particularly on the abandonment of the management of the Danesbury Fernery over the past 100 years or so, from a point when W Robinson in ‘The English Flower Garden‘ published in 1883 wrote ‘in the home counties there is probably not a better Fernery than at Danesbury’, to the point where in September 2015 the volunteers Friends of Danesbury Local Nature Reserve faced a veritable jungle.
The judges were impressed by the massive clearance programme conducted since then, highlighting the hugely successful June 2017 Welwyn Festival, when the Fernery was ‘Opened’ as part of the Festival’s Annual Open Gardens programme, attracting hundreds of visitors.
Go to the CPRE Awards site to find the Judges Danesbury Report on page 4.