Page05 - Cricket, Cattle and Historic Buildings


Cricket to stay - But with Delay

Residents were delighted to hear that on the 22nd January this year TRDC gave permission for the Cricket club on the common to move the cricket square further away from the busy A404, thus ensuring a 200-year tradition would continue.

However, conditions were imposed that would have to be met before work can commence. One of these conditions concerns the protection of the resident newts during the works programme. Another, which is proving more difficult to discharge, concerns the relocation of a small area of acid grassland. The Herts County Council Biological Records Centre wish to relocate the grass in the vicinity of its current site on the north side of the common, but outside the area of the cricket square.

Once the site has been selected it will require the agreement of the Chorleywood Parish Council, the club's landlord, before the whole matter has to be referred to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for their approval. As a result of these issues which need to be addressed it now seems unlikely that work will not commence until late winter 2011. The Common is of national importance because it is home to three types of rare grassland habitats - acid grass, neutral grass and chalk meadow. Because of this it is a county heritage site, a county wildlife site, a local nature reserve and is on the national list of special habitats in Britain, making any work on the common incredibly difficult.

Cricket will continue to be played on its current site while the matter is finalised. 

Cattle on the Common

In the recent months, following the trial of the cattle on Larks Meadow, there has been much debate over whether or not it is a good idea to re-introduce cattle on to the common. One of the most fierce arguments against is the danger to the protected wild flowers especially the orchid, which are at risk of having their heads and stems damaged.

However the Parish Council and the Friends of the Common Society believe that the Aberdeen Angus Cattle have a positive effect on the environment. The cattle can graze the grass closer than a machine and also graze the dips and mounds that a machine would skim over or damage. The cattle also remove the layer of old grass allowing seeds to reach the soil. lt is more cost effective for the Parish to use cattle as the alternative is to employ contractors to cut, bale and remove the grass which cannot be used  hay due to contamination by dog faeces.

The cattle help disperse seeds over a wider area, their droppings help fertilize the soil and then tread it in encouraging the growth. This year we saw a that the orchids performed much better than in previous years.

This will be monitored over the next few years. lt looks like the cattle are here to stay as the consultation survey held by the Parish Council revealed that 732 are in favour of returning the cattle to the common against 77.

Buildings of local interest

Fantastic news at last. TRDC is currently compiling a list of historic buildings in the area. These are buildings that may not be important enough for listing status but have huge local importance. The list is being made district by district i.e Chorleywood, Rickmansworth, Sarratt, etc. Any building can be added to this list as long as it meets the criteria. The criteria have been split into 5 areas: 

    A building which has a notable style, form. type or construction. It may be unusual or simply a good example of a traditional build of the area.

    A building of specialist function or which forms part of the original layout facilities of the area.

    A building that has a significant part in the development of the area.

    This includes buildings whose location/scale/features enhance the identity and distinctiveness of the area.

    A building that enhance a street or landscape with its structure or character.
Already on this list is Chorleywood House, Rose and Crown pub, Tollgate House on A404. Gilliat Amishouses on Dog Kennel Lane, "The Cottage" on Homefeild Road, "Dapplemere" on Shepherds Lane, The Signal Box and a post box on Haddon Road. As you can see from the list it doesn't even have to be a building and it can be in any state of repair.

The Association would like to hear from you with your suggestions to add to this list. Your participation in this scheme will help preserve Chorleywood's heritage and character. We will undertake to pass on your
suggestions to TRDC. In anticipation we thank you.