Weston Parish Council in North Hertfordshire is determined that the Corona Virus pandemic should be commemorated in a way that has a long-term benefit to our Parishioners.

One very clear and tangible benefit resulting from Covid19 has been the huge increase in use of the footpaths around our village as people working from home took their daily exercise to sustain their physical and mental health. Residents who had never or rarely walked the paths in the past were enchanted by the beauty this corner on North Hertfordshire has to offer.

Spurred on by an idea to make the commemoration a celebration of walking the Parish Council decided to enhance the pleasure for residents and visitors by providing benches at various locations, mostly sited to catch particularly lovely views. Residents and local businesses were offered the chance to suggest a spot where they would like to see a bench fitted and to donate toward the cost of a bench with a dedication plaque. This enabled the Council to purchase 19 benches in total plus a wheel chair friendly picnic bench.

Environmental sustainability and minimal maintenance cost for the Council were essential features. The benches selected are made of recycled plastic bottles and bags, designed to look like real timber, and they are 100% recyclable at the end of their life, hopefully more than 20 years.

Installation has just been completed and the comments from Weston residents and walkers from neighbouring Parishes has been extremely encouraging, “what a wonderful idea”, “good to see a Parish Council doing something for the community” and “that will give a point of focus for my children”.

For more information see the following background information and the attached map or contact Councillor Tim Moody (timmoody@btinternet.com, tel: 07802 176630)

Background Information

Weston Parish in North Hertfordshire consists of approximately 1100 residents. The overwhelming majority now live in the main village of Weston but in earlier times proportionally more lived in small communities surrounding Weston – Halls Green, Lannock, Friends Green and Warren’s Green.

This spread of Parishioners resulted in a very extensive network of ten Rights of Way footpaths radiating from the village centre and the church to these communities. In addition we have a plethora of radial Rights of Way linking these main paths. We are very fortunate that the local land owners are supportive of walkers and they also provide and maintain many permissive paths.

Our paths are very well used and walkers from the local area and further afield gravitate to the village for a good ramble.

We have a shop and two excellent pubs in the Parish to provide fuel for walkers, The Cricketers in Weston and The Rising Sun in Halls Green.

The benches were purchased from Glasdon UK Ltd and are made of recycled plastic bottles and bags, approximately 45,000 per bench, a total of 900,000 for the project. They are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life. Installation was carried out by Parish Councillors and no cement or slabs were used for the bases in order to minimise environmental damage.

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