Food and Farming Day for Primary School Children at the Hertfordshire Showground -

Organised by the Hertfordshire Agricultural Society who have been running the County Show for 136 years. The event targeted year 6 Primary School Children (10 & 11 yr olds) with one Harpenden school, Manland Primary in attendance alongside 1000+ pupils from Hertfordshire Primary Schools. 

The focus of the day was to promote the original ‘Field to Fork’ story. However, we aim to ‘flip’ the story and start with food and work backwards, showcasing all the different foods within the ‘Eat Well Plate’ of Fruit & Vegetables; Potatoes, Bread and other Carbohydrates; Beans, Fish, Meat and other Proteins; Dairy and alternatives and Oils.

All exhibits offered an interactive experience. 2 local foodies; (below) Theo Michaels (chef, TV presenter and award-winning author) and Katharine Tate AKA The Food Teacher (teacher, Registered Nutritional Therapist and award-winning author) were both involved in the day. Katharine explained, 'The day was fantastic talking with the pupils about where our food comes from. My session was supported by itsu so I talked about Asian food and climate differences around the world with seaweed, prawn cracker and rice cake food tastings, which the children loved. A memorable day for all the children."

In addition to the marquees there was machinery, livestock and various demonstrations. The school children and teachers moved around the various exhibits with additional stewards available who will have farming knowledge that could answer questions or give a more in-depth commentary on a certain area.

Next year the event will take place on Tuesday 2nd July for any local schools that might be interested.

Please see a link for Herts County Council


Richard Nichols delivering the Chair’s statement

‘Time running out for finalising Local Plan’, says councillor

Without the submission, in an acceptable form of a local plan for St Albans City and District before the middle of next year, protection of key areas of the Green Belt against housing development might well be lost. The warning came from District and County Councillor Paul de Kort, addressing a public  meeting last week hosted by the Harpenden Society at the town’s Katherine Warington School.


Cllr de Kort pointed out that although a recent statement by Secretary of State Michael Gove had indicated a move away from mandatory to ‘advisory’ house building targets, it was clear that the requirement for SADC to sanction the building of just over 15,000 new homes between now and 2041, would not necessarily be eased. And, in answer to a question from the audience, he acknowledged that the outcome of the General Election later this year added a further element of uncertainty.

    Although the council was keen to make maximum use of so-called ‘brownfield’ sites in the District, surveys had shown that they could accommodate only around 900 dwellings.  It meant that land had therefore to be made available elsewhere for building about 11,000 more homes, which implied sacrificing Green Belt.  

    In an ARUP group survey commissioned last year by SADC, the practicality and extent of some Green Belt development applications was questioned. Cllr de Kort cited the L&G group’s wish to build around 550 homes on Green Belt land north of Bloomfield Road, Harpenden. It contrasted starkly with the figure of just 293 homes calculated by ARUP and influenced especially by the distance of the site from the town centre and consequent transport implications.

Paul de Kort commented: “Putting together a local plan is a complex activity for any local authority. The particular circumstances of St Albans District mutiply the challenge. I hope my presentation and responses to the audience's questions provided more clarity on the local context, the progress made to date and what remaining uncertainties there are to be resolved. Very recent ministerial statements appear to allow for greater consideration of specific local pressures and I welcomed that during the evening. It is something that we have been demanding for a long time."

A record breaking attendance of over 140 including many non members of the Harpenden Society were present filling the school hall for almost two hours. The full slide presentation can be seen on the Harpenden Society web site. www.harpendensociety.org

There would be two residential blocks of 50 eco friendly apartments, ( some affordable) each with their own parking. These being on a ‘brownfield site’ so no loss of greenbelt.

A Station Plaza for passenger drop off and collection. Ticket machines.

A multi storey car park  for 450 vehicles, with some EV charge points

Dedicated, safer waking and cycling connection

Simplified vehicular access

May 16. A Planning application has been lodged at St. Albans Council for 100 homes at HARPENDEN RAILWAY STATION EASTERN CAR PARK  PROPOSED REDEVELOPMENT.

No mention is made of the serious issues of traffic problems accessing the site and the loss of car parking spaces.

Planning Application Ref. 5/2024/0796

You have until May 30 to register your views



STANTA Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary in Style

STANTA recently welcomed over 100 guests to a 40th anniversary party at the OA Sports Club on May 9. Attendees were drawn from clients of the Agency, fellow business contacts from the St Albans and Harpenden community, along with representatives from other Enterprise Agencies and representative bodies.

Also attending were local dignitaries including Daisy Cooper MP, Cllr Anthony Rowlands, Mayor of St Albans, Annie Brewster, High Sheriff of Hertfordshire and Cllr Paul De Kort from Harpenden Town Council.

The guests received a warm welcome from STANTA’s management team who provided a short video presentation and speeches from the recently retired Executive Director Mel Hilbrown and the soon-to-retire Operations Director, Ginny Cooper.  New Executive Director Steve Bedford gave thanks on behalf of all those present for the incredible dedication and long service of both individuals, which amounts to 43 years in total!

Focusing on the future, Steve envisages further in-person support for start-ups and young businesses in St Albans, Harpenden and surrounding villages, whether through personal advice meetings, business planning sessions or attendance at STANTA’s wide range of workshops. Despite an uncertain national funding scene for Enterprise Agencies, STANTA’s long-term planning should enable the Agency to play an increasingly active role in the local community.


Thanks were provided to the sponsors that made the event possible; Debenhams Ottaway, Visionary Accountants, Franklin Insurance and Insite M&A. Thanks also go to the talented  musical duo Katie plus Juan who entertained us all so well and Old Albanians RFC for hosting the event. Heaven is a Cupcake provided the most delicious celebratory cake.

Steve Bedford

Executive Director

STANTA can help any Harpenden business, so if you have a particular question or worry about financial planning/marketing/networking/business strategy/growth …. In fact any issue, contact us  advice@stanta.co.uk or telephone 01727 837760.

Website:  www.stanta.co.uk

Above left.

Videos of businesses that have succeeded following STANTA support were shown to demonstrate posItive vibes.

Above right. Relaxing on the Terrace, enjoying sumptuous hospitality

Below. Great music for all to enjoy from ‘Katie plus Juan’