Active News in Harpenden


Jan 12. 3G Pitch Opening event at Katherine Warington School with Luton’s Mick Harford and Annie Brewster + hundreds of school pupils.

On Friday 12th January 2024, the Katherine Warington School Community Pitch, our new artificial pitch, was officially opened by some special guests: Mick Harford, the former LTFC player, manager and ex England international, Annie Brewster, who has worked at parish, district, and county council level for over 15 years and Dr Tom Gilham, a local GP partner.

A collaboration between Katherine Warington School, Wheathampsted Wanderers, the Football Foundation, and Watford FC Community, the new pitch will be enjoyed not only by KWS students but by the wider community for multiple sports, all year round.

Our guests spoke about how fortunate the students and local residents are to have such a fantastic facility on their doorstep.  Mick Harford commented that “sport changes lives for the better” and urged students to make the most of the pitch, which he said “is going to be an incredible success”. Mick also said, “Sport and exercise also brings people together especially when it’s introduced in your formative years, it builds relationships which last a lifetime”

Annie Brewster commented that, “She was delighted the school, plus its wider community, now had access to this fantastic facility having originally campaigned for the school to have a 3G when it was built”. Annie looks forward to working with the school in her new role as High Sheriff of Hertfordshire later in the year.

After the official cutting of the ribbon, some selected students were invited to take part in a penalty shootout with Mick Hartford. Benjamin Mupita, a KWS student said, “It was amazing to be playing with Mick Harford. It was lots of fun and I really enjoyed myself.” Isobel James, a KWS student said, “I enjoyed using the new astro to play football with Mick Harford very much as it gave me an opportunity to use this wonderful facility and understand how it would be used in the future.”

The school was also delighted to be able to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK as part of the event and currently has a Just Giving page running   ( At the ceremony, a cheque for £1,000 was presented following a donation from Academia Technology Group.


Left to Right -

Jasleen Nagi,

Annie Brewster,

Harry Hare,

Dean Inns,

David Martin,

Mick Harford,

Dr Tom Gillham,

Jenny Howarth and

Tony Smith.

Left to Right -

Annie Brewster,

Dr Tom Gillham,

Joe Kelly,

Mark McCormack,

Mick Harford,

David Martin and

Dean Inns.

Planning permission secured for new Skatepark in Harpenden

Harpenden Town Council, together with local charity Playpark Action Rothamsted Committee (PARC), is celebrating another step towards Rothamsted Park’s Skatepark redevelopment with the news that planning permission has been granted.

The redevelopment is badly needed as the current skatepark is at the end of its life. Designs accommodating the need for an inviting and inclusive space, with good wheelchair access, features for all abilities and ages, and suitability for different users including skateboards, BMX bikes, WCMX (adapted wheelchairs), scooters and roller skates, were agreed earlier this year.

With designs approved and planning permission agreed, PARC continue to fundraise to ensure the vision becomes a reality. The overall budget for the new Skatepark is £250,000, with Harpenden Town Council committing £100K, and the remainder relying on local fundraising. PARC is making progress with fundraising but needs more help from local people and businesses.

Cllr Fiona Gaskell, Mayor of Harpenden, said,

“News that planning permission has now been secured for the new skatepark is extremely exciting. This is an important redevelopment benefiting a wide-ranging demographic, particularly Harpenden’s young people and their families. The Town Council is delighted to be working in partnership with PARC and we thank them for their continued hard work and dedication.”

PARC, originally set up in 2018 by local parents and grandparents, formed a partnership with the Town Council and successfully raised funds to redevelop Rothamsted Park’s playpark, and is following a similar model for this project. PARC representative Rod Cooley said,

“With planning permission now in place, the only barrier to building the Rothamsted Skatepark is the funding.  PARC has been working hard to obtain funds but we still have a substantial amount to raise to reach our target.  To help us do this, residents can donate £100 and have their name or a message inscribed on a paver that will be laid on the path from the Leisure Centre to the Skatepark.  Just 200 pavers are available! Furthermore, PARC is appealing to local businesses to sponsor the skatepark with donations of any amount gratefully received.  A £2,500 donation will secure a place on the sponsor board to be located by the skatepark illustrating business' support of this great community project. Details about these and any donation can be found on our webpage

The new advertising campaign launched this week reminds residents and visitors to Rothamsted Park that skateparks are a place for people of all ages and abilities to socialise, exercise outdoors, learn and enjoy local green spaces. Skateparks are unique in providing an alternative, worthwhile, outdoor meeting area.

For more information, please visit email: or call 07955 027524.

Feb 28. Sustainability and Climate Crisis Strategy for St Albans District and Harpenden is launched.

A new sustainability and climate crisis strategy for St Albans District and Harpenden with the aim of achieving net zero by 2030 has been launched.

The strategy covers the years from now until 2027 and sets out measures to cut harmful emissions and improve the local environment.

St Albans City and District Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and produced a strategy with more than 100 actions for 2020 to 2023.

Last year, Councillors also declared a sustainability and biodiversity emergency, recognising the urgent need to protect and enhance nature.

Now the Planning Policy and Climate Committee has approved an updated strategy to progress all this vital work.

The strategy includes further initiatives to improve the sustainability of the Council’s own operations and services with its emissions having been cut by 52% since 2009.

It also sets out commitments and proposals to:

*Boost the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings around the District.

*Promote active and sustainable transport to improve air quality.

*Reduce waste, encourage recycling and campaign for sustainable food production.

*Enhance the natural environment and allow biodiversity to flourish.

Conserve precious water resources and ease flooding risks.


Councillor Raj Visram, Lead for Climate, said: “Since declaring a climate emergency, we have made great strides forward and taken many positive actions.

“For example, we have planted many thousands of trees and spent more than £20 million on improving the energy efficiency of our social housing properties with more work scheduled.

“Our parking services team now has an all-electric vehicle fleet and 18 more electric vehicle charging points have been installed around the District.

“We have also helped to set up the St Albans Home Energy Support Service which provides free advice to households on making their homes more energy efficient and how to obtain funding.

“However, we are not complacent and this updated strategy will further boost our efforts to tackle the climate emergency and create a carbon neutral District.

“It highlights the areas where we will be making major efforts in the years ahead to promote sustainability and I am sure we will have the support of our residents and businesses as we continue with this priority project.

“I would urge all those who are passionate about their local environment and the need to make improvements to take the time to read this strategy. We need everyone to buy into what we are doing.”

Among the new measures the strategy commits the Council to is a campaign to increase opportunities for the community to become involved in its climate work.

St Albans Greener Together will be launched soon with the aim of helping residents, schools, community groups and businesses find solutions to environmental issues.

Katherine Warington School Awarded Modeshift Stars Secondary School of the Year

Katherine Warington School, based in Harpenden has beaten off the competition to win the National Modeshift STARS Secondary School of the Year 2024. 

Modeshift STARS, funded by Active Travel England, is the centre of excellence for the delivery of effective travel plans in education, business, and communities. The scheme recognises schools that have shown excellence in supporting sustainable travel to and from School.

Katherine Warington school has been involved in Modeshift STARS for the last 5 years, achieving a reduction in car use over that period.  Travel surveys show that single car journeys have decreased from 22.63% to 14% over this period while more sustainable and active modes have stayed consistent and amber modes like bus and park and stride have gone up significantly from 48.86% to 58.24%.

Katherine Warington School showed its commitment by ensuring pupils have safe and effective travel routes to school. They are keen to promote sustainable travel and have had a drop-off/pick up zones map since the day they opened in September 2019.

The school has been particularly active with their Travel Plan Working Group, made up of pupils, school staff, local councillors and local authority officers.    A range of training programmes are offered to pupils including Bikeability and transition and independent travel initiatives delivered in partnership with Living Streets.

Dean Inns, School Business Manager said “We are delighted to have been recognised at a national level for the work and commitment we have put in to ensure students have safe and sustainable methods of travelling to school. We will continue to work to build on this success”

APRIL 5. Funding for the new Skatepark in Harpenden is well short of target. Financial support from the whole Harpenden community is needed OR the project could fail.

Harpenden Town Council, together with local charity Playpark Action Rothamsted Committee (PARC), have celebrated another step towards Rothamsted Park’s Skatepark redevelopment with the news that planning permission has been granted.

HOWEVER. IT WOULD SEEM THAT NOT MANY Harpenden residents and parents are aware of the financial requirements to ensure the project proceeds to completion.

The overall budget for the new Skatepark is £250,000, with Harpenden Town Council committing £100K, and the remainder relying on local fundraising. PARC is making progress with fundraising but needs more help from local people and businesses.

Please think how you can help to secure this project for the younger generation in Harpenden.

April 10. Great News! - Planning Consent for New Harpenden Care Home in Grove Rd.


Locally based RDT Architects are delighted to share that planning consent has been granted for a new 75-bed care home in Harpenden for Oakland Care.


Having previously received planning permission for 39 apartments on this site for Jarvis Homes, Oakland Care appointed RDT Architects to submit a care home design to serve the local community.


This modern facility, situated in Grove Road, Southdown, represents an innovative approach to care home design, prioritising the needs of residents, staff and visitors.  The RDT team have worked closely with our partners including Harpenden based project manager, Aedifice Partnership, to ensure functionality, sustainability and seamless integration into the urban context.


With 75 residential bedrooms and associated amenity spaces, both indoors and outdoors, the new care home will be a positive addition to the community, revitalising this former vehicle repair centre site and enriching the neighbourhood and we look forward to bringing our vision to life during the construction phase.