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.
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
Wood, Wool & Food and Conker Festivals
The Box Moor Trust’s weekend of community events on Blackbirds Moor got off to a flying start on Saturday 18th October with the Wood, Wool and Food Festival, a real celebration of local produce and crafts. With freshly-made bread, delicious locally-produced rare breed meat, cold-pressed oils and dressings, locally grown vegetables and plants from Sunnyside Rural Trust, delicious biscuits and cakes, cheeses, preserves and honey and Italian-style ice cream, visitors were spoilt for choice on how to spend their cash. There were carving and turning demonstrations from skilled woodcarver Vince King and the members of Herts & Beds Wood Turners, and visitors were also treated to some amazing chainsaw sculpturing by the very talented Will Lee. Will carved a beautiful 5ft high bear, who has found his forever home in the Trust’s Hay Wood! The Trust’s very own livestock also proved to be quite a draw, with five different rare breeds of sheep represented as well as our three Saanen goats. Estate Manager Phil Pennington gave a series of shearing demonstrations throughout the day.
On Sunday 19th, the focus shifted to the annual Conker Festival. The combination of warm, sunny weather and mellow jazz courtesy of the Jolly Jazzers helped to ensure that the crowds stayed to have fun all day. New for this year was the ‘Circus Skills’ workshop, which went down a storm with the children (the giant bubble machine was a particular hit!) The colourful, circus-style marquee housed a variety of local organisations and charity stalls, including RSPB, Cats Protection, RSPCA, the Hospice of St Francis, Appledown Rescue and Rehoming Kennels, the WI and the Born Free Foundation. The children’s tent was busy all weekend with craft activities, storytelling and face painting. Dacorum & Chiltern Potters Guild’s pottery workshop was very popular as usual, and the Berkhamsted Bowmen had a steady stream of would-be Robin Hoods at their archery ‘have-a-go’ range. Another first for 2014: Clive Hill of ‘One to One with Raptors’ brought some of his birds of prey along for the public to see, including Kusel a stunningly-beautiful Red Kite.
The conker tournament was, as ever, was hotly contested and the junior and senior heats were taking place throughout the afternoon. The junior final was won by 10-year old Billy Reed-Hook, whilst the adult final was a short but decisive affair with Philo Knapp emerging as the 2014 champion.
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 accounts of the Box Moor Trust for the year ended 30th September 2013 have been audited and are attached in PDF format (see below).