Queen Elizabeth II Field, The Meads

                                               

In honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the Parish Council applied to register the Meads as a Jubilee memorial.  A Deed of Dedication was drawn up with QEII Fields in Trust on behalf of the National Playing Fields Association, and the registration was completed by Land Registry in December 2012.  An official commemorative plaque has been affixed to the pavilion.  The official title is now "Queen Elizabeth II Field, The Meads"!

The Meads and the Pavilion are for the use and enjoyment of all parishioners in the Parish. The Council has started the long process of refurbishing the Pavilion, and intends to continue tidying the area to make the whole Meads open space more enjoyable for everyone.  Signs warning of the danger of the River Quin and its steep banks are being improved, and missing signs replaced.  An additional dog-waste bin has been installed on the village side of the footpath that traverses the Field (Number 14) where it exits the Meads.

A tree survey and risk assessment was conducted in the winter of 2016/17.  This identified a number of trees around the Meads perimeter that presented a risk to the public and these have now been dealt with by a qualified Arborist. The two horse chestnut trees that stood between the car park and the field became severely diseased.  Branches began to fall and in the autumn of 2016 they had to be felled, having been assessed as dangerous and beyond recovery.  Since the trees stood beneath Power Networks' power lines, their contractor undertook the work at no cost to the Parish Council!  Further tree safety maintenance work was undertaken in April 2019.

During late 2013 and into 2014, further improvements were made to the pavilion and car park, which was resurfaced in an attempt to overcome the problems of puddling in wet weather.  These were completely funded by a grant from East Herts Council, for which we are very grateful.  The pavilion terrace roofing was replaced and a ramp installed to improve its disabled access.

In February 2014 the pavilion was flooded (along with many other properties in the area and throughout the country!).  Our insurer's response was excellent, and the drying, sanitisation and reinstatement work, including redecorating throughout, was carried out in time for the start of the cricket season.  Unfortunately a few bookings had to be cancelled, but all things considered, we fared very well.

Despite very mixed weather during the summer of 2015, our groundsman made a very good job of keeping the Meads and play area cut and in good order, although he says he has never known grass to grow so fast and lush through a whole season!  A broken stopcock near the cricket table leaked a staggering 450 cubic meters of water (that's 99,000+ gallons!) over the spring and summer before it was finally fixed.  The water company have confirmed the leak has now stopped!  It's amazing the cricketers were still able to use the wicket.

The log roll in the play area broke while being tested during the annual safety inspection in July and the two swings were adjudged to be unsafe.  Thanks to grants from East Herts Council and two grants from County Councillor Rose Cheswright's Locality budget, a new cradle swing and new junior swing were installed in late September and other funding is now being pursued for a new piece of equipment to replace the old log roll.  Watch this space!
New cradle swings and new junior swings, September 2015.

Following the collapse of the old picnic table at the end of 2014, we have purchased a one and had another donated and have been used frequently during the summer.  We also installed a new fridge in the Pavilion and our next task is to replace the leaking taps in the ladies toilet.

Football matches are not currently played on the Meads, but the pitches, playing field and pavilion are available for hire.

In March 2019, the Parish Council began working on a refurbishment programme to the outside of the pavilion.  A new coat of paint was well overdue and is a great improvement.

The Meads and pavilion became the target of a number of incidents of vandalism in 2018/19.  Even a security camera supplied by the police was stolen! No one was apprehended and further security measures have been put in place.

Springtime down at the Meads, Hare Street

Yet another very busy springtime down and the Meads with many jobs to do in our ongoing effort to improve the facility for our local community.

The daffodil display has been a great success with thanks to all the volunteers who gave their valuable time up back in October 2019. I am very grateful for all the many kind words I have received by local residents who have appreciated the initiative especially during these worrying times.

                          

Following the success of the daffodils I have since sowed wildflower seed in the rough grass on the river bank to add summer interest and support local wildlife.

The wildflower mix contains twenty seven British Wildflower species, consisting of 70% perennial species and 30% annual and biennial species to create a permanent area of pure wildflowers. The species included in this mixture create an attractive display from May to October and is suitable for a wide range of soil types and environments. The large percentage of annuals in this mixture make it ideal for situations where first year colour is important.

 

In addition to this we have also carried out some additional tree planting to add more spring blossom including three ornamental flowering peach trees which are doing very well.

Following government guidelines the play area at the Meads Recreational Ground had to be closed, but we have used this as an ideal opportunity to carry out some refurbishment work.

Much needed painting has been carried out and the benches within the play area are to be refurbished in readiness for the government restrictions to be lifted.

                                   

We are also pleased to announce that following many requests from keen young footballers within our community a pair of brand new football posts and nets have been purchased.

Again these will be secured permanently on the Meads field as soon as the government restrictions have been lifted.

                                               

We will continue to make every effort to make the Meads Recreational Ground a very special place for the enjoyment of everyone in our community,

Kevin Glogner, 2020

All enquiries to the Parish Clerk.