Founded in 1594, The Box Moor Trust manages some 480 acres of agricultural and amenity land for the benefit of the inhabitants of Hemel Hempstead and Bovingdon. A registered charity, the Trust's mission is to manage the estate in an environmentally sensitive manner for recreation, biodiversity, the provision of diverse opportunities for lifelong learning and to ensure that the enjoyment of such initiatives is accessible to all.
These youngsters from Box Moor Primary School had a very special visitor during their Forest School session at The Box Moor Trust in November. HM Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Countess of Verulam, was on an official visit to the Trust and stopped off at the site in Hay Wood in time to see the children perform their Forest School song, led by education team member Yvonne Masters.
Lady Verulam, who is Her Majesty the Queen's personal representative in Hertfordshire, then went on to meet some of the Trust's conservation volunteers, who were engaged in expertly laying a hedge along the track to the Box Moor Trust Old Barn Education Centre at Westbrook Hay. Trustees and staff were on hand to explain how the Trust land is cared for, including the management of the rare breed sheep and cattle that are such a feature of the moors.
A minibus tour of the estate followed, taking in the river valley, cricket clubs and Sheethanger Common conservation area. The morning ended with a visit to The Box Moor Trust Centre, the Trust's flagship headquarters in London Road.
Trust Chairman David Kirk, who led the visit, remarked, "Much of our land was owned by Queen Elizabeth 1 shortly before it was transferred to the Trust in 1594, so this was an occasion to remember for all of us and one which we are sure Lady Verulam enjoyed. We are so grateful that she took the time to visit us and to speak with such interest to so many people about their work with the Trust."
Fancy an adventure? If you enjoy exploring outside then you might like to try one of our Rucksack Walks.
What is it? A rucksack walk is a self guided walk with themed activities to do as you go. There are currently two themes to choose from:
~ Senses Walk ~ ~ Natural Art Trail ~
What's in the bag? In the rucksack there are 4 sets of activities to do, with instructions and the items you need to complete each activity. There is a map card with a suggested route and locations to do each activity. The rucksack has enough equipment for up to 6 people to do the activities together.
Where can I borrow one from? The rucksacks are available from the Box Moor Trust Centre on London Road. You will need to leave a small refundable cash deposit to borrow the bag of equipment.
The Box Moor Trust has over 750 mature trees on the Moors in the Bulbourne and Gade valleys. Over the summer months expert tree surveyors have recorded their species, height and relative health and vigour.
The Trust has had a concern over recent years about the local ‘treescape’, especially with the worsening condition of the landmark horse chestnuts that are so well loved by local people. The trees are nationally under attack by a combination of Bleeding Canker, a fungal pathogen known as Phytophthora and the horse chestnut leaf miner moth. A number of the chestnut trees are evidently suffering and the Trust needs to plan for a future when sadly this type of tree will no longer be a feature of the local landscape.
Many of the trees on the Moors are, additionally, reaching the end of their natural lives and, although not in a dangerous condition, require some tree surgery to help prolong their lives and ensure that visitors are kept safe. In total, in the region of sixty trees across the Moors need some specialist work. The timber from the project will be used to either to fuel the biomass boiler at the Trust or use for habitat works around the Trust’s land.
For further information contact Ian Richardson at the Trust office, tel: 01442 253300.
The accounts of the Box Moor Trust for the year ended 30th September 2013 have been audited and are attached in PDF format (see below).