OCTOBER 2020    Click here for GDPR statement

Genetic modification of plants will be essential to avert future food shortages.

The team, from Rothamsted Research and from Syngenta Crop Science and Symmetry Bioanalytics in the US are working to develop new strategies.

Click here to learn more.

The main issues affecting Harpenden in 2020

Overcoming Corona Virus

Luton Airport - Over expansion

The Local Plan - 1,800 more houses in Harpenden

Environmental - Pollution; Climate emergency; Green spaces

Transport - Rail services; Roads. Parking; Buses; Cycling

Health Services - The Red House; GP Surgeries; Hospitals

New Sports & Leisure Centre

New Arts Centre & Theatre

The High Street & Local Businesses - Rent & Rates issues

The Neighbourhood Plan - Enforcing its policies

Follow Harpendia for news on all these developments

in the year ahead


March 4. SADC vote 29 v 27 to buy

Harpenden Estate at a Council

meeting on Feb 26. This could cost

over £18 million+.

Background info:

* Funding will be borrowed on a 50 year mortgage

* 80% of income return will be paid to service debt repayment.

* The investment will yield a 0.05% return over the 50 year mortgage

* The advisor to SADC will ‘earn’ a £six figure fee

* Property experts in Harpenden have said it is ill advised and too risky

* The SADC Estates Manager has resigned

* The commercial reality of High Street retailing appears to have been ignored...record closures of big name brands and the growing strength of internet shopping.

Council Leader Chris White (Lib Dem) says it is a good investment providing security for the retailers and apartment owners above the shops, retaining a healthy High Street AND generating ongoing income from rents.

Learn more here in a press release from the Conservative Group at St Albans and District Council

March 2. New member for The Harpenden Society.

Bim Afolami MP confirmed his membership of the Society on Feb 27 at the Public Meeting at Harpenden Public Halls.

Learn more

April 9. No place for a Care Home in Harpenden. An application by Porthaven Care Homes Group to build a new Care Home in Coldharbour Lane has been rejected by local Councillors. Despite providing 60 full time jobs and 40 part time it was deemed a non commercial development in what is a commercial area in the Neighbourhood Plan.

(right. A typical Porthaven Home)

Demand for Care Home places

locally can only be met if they are

granted permission on sites like this.

Alternatively people will have to

travel some distance to locations

away from Harpenden. Expect an


April 9. Downsizing options or

equity release to make life easier.

So, if you don’t want to downsize

but would like to get an extra income

in later life to fully enjoy retirement or

to pass on money to your children,

what can you do?

Learn more.

April 20. Harpenden based charity, Jumbulance, helps with the South East Coast Ambulance service as part of its Covid-19 response.

SECAmb has commissioned the charity to provide a Jumbulance vehicle which  has been adapted further to meet its specification to assist SECAmb with multiple patient transfers between hospitals.

Learn more

May 7. Rothamsted Research answers White House call for coronavirus data help

A group of researchers based at Rothamsted Research have responded to a request from the White House, Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg and others to find a way to rapidly sift through the mountain of COVID-19 scientific data.

Learn more

June 16.  Financial Planning For

The New Normal

Learn more

May 20. What can we learn about Covid 19 from past pandemics.

Author of Cholera: The Victorian Plague, Amanda Thomas speaks out.

Learn more

May 27. If you love the Olympics then you will find this new book


Written by local author Geraint John and Dave Parker.

Learn more

July. NEW PRESIDENT FOR HARPENDEN VILLAGE ROTARY CLUB. John Murray is the new president of Harpenden Village Rotary Club. He has lived in Harpenden since 2001 when, after a career including spells in the oil industry and running his own business, he was appointed chief executive of the Society of Maritime Industries.

Learn more

Lyndhurst Financial Management Announces Carbon Neutral Plan

Lyndhurst Financial Management Ltd was founded in 1992 advises on over £450 million of client investments and is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority www.lyndhurstfm.co.uk

Learn more

Emsrayne advise Hyde Parish Council that they have withdrawn their application for the Incinerator on the Lower Luton Rd by the Luton Hoo Estate. JULY 2020

July. If you know someone with debt problems in Harpenden help is at hand. Harpenden Money Advice Centre is a charity providing confidential, non-judgemental and impartial debt and budgeting advice.

Learn more

July. Harpenden wins ‘Best Local Building Society’ Award for 6th year at the prestigious What Mortgage Awards for a 6th consecutive year.

‘We believe the flexible approach we take and our willingness to invest in taking the time to listen and truly understand the customer situation is what makes us stand out as a lender.’ said Sarah Howe, Chief Executive

Learn more



SADC have now cancelled the development of a Garden Village on Radlett’s former Park Street Aerodrome, leaving the way open for a massive Rail Freight development and new locations in the district for the 1,600 homes that would have been built there.


Learn more

July. A new book "Heartwood Butterflies" shows all the species they have seen with full colour photos and also shows how dramatically the numbers have increased.

Learn more

July. Angela Karp announced as new

Director and CEO of Rothamsted Research. She is the first female director of the Institute since it

was founded in 1843.

Learn more

July. Theo Michaels. During lockdown me and the kids hosted a live cookalong three times a week, every week for 3 months doing a total of 36 live shows!

By popular demand I’ve finally produced The Kids Lockdown Cookbook! It features every recipe from our cookalongs and has links to the recorded live shows for every recipe in case you want to ‘cookalong’ again!

Grab your copy of The Kids Lockdown Cookbook – click here!

Aug. Face Coverings will be mandatory in enclosed public spaces including supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, transport hubs, banks and post offices.

They must also be worn when buying takeaway food and drink, although they can be removed in a seating area.

Those who break the rules could face a fine of up to £100.

Aug. More cash needed to to finish Harpenden’s new leisure and cultural centres. The total construction bill will now rise from the £18.4 million estimated early this year, but the exact figure has yet to be determined.

Cllr Robert Donald, portfolio holder said

“Stopping work on building the cultural centre would leave a half-finished building, expose the council to more not less contractual costs and result in Harpenden residents not being able to use a great new facility.”

Learn more

August. So what’s happening at Harpenden Public Halls for the rest of the year?





Asbestos will be removed from inside the Halls soon and improvements made to enable it to open as a temporary Gym whilst the new Sports centre is completed.


Details and dates to be announced.

Learn more

August. Time to rethink Harpenden’s town centre to encourage shoppers back.

Research* has reported that almost half of all people are still concerned about social distancing and crowded places. Yet a third of consumers are ready to go out and spend and do more then before the crisis.

The visual signals of all the barriers and road signs maintains a huge negative image and the introduction of compulsory face coverings in shops only adds to the equation.

Learn more

August. New Survey in May shows the Nickey Line continues to be extremely

popular with Harpenden residents.

Learn more

August. Did you know farmers and land owners can help in the fight to prevent climate change? Rothamsted Research scientists have been down on the farms and in the Labs finding out how.

Learn more

Calling all jigsaw lovers!

Harpenden will hold its first ever Jigsaw Festival on 4 & 5 June 2021 at High Street Methodist Church. Organised by volunteers from two Harpenden churches. At this stage, in order to make the event a success, the organisers are looking for the community to get involved with any of the following tasks:-

· Assembling your own puzzles and donating them.· Donating unmade complete puzzles for others to assemble, and Making up jigsaws donated by others. Learn more

October. How would you like a professional Video to help boost your business?

And have it produced locally at a price you can afford.

KOMO Promo Videos in St Albans will look after all your needs.

Learn more

August. Clean, Clean and Green. No it’s not a new detergent. It’s a major statement of intent from our MP Bim Afolami about improving the environment in Harpenden.

Learn more

Sept. Harpenden Library now

re opened.

New hours, limited services - book borrowing, computer use.

Mask wearing, hand sanitising

Mon. 10am - 4pm; Tues. 1pm -4pm

Wed. Closed. Thurs.10am - 4pm

Fri. 1pm - 4pm. Sat. 10am - 4pm

Sun. Closed

Full details here.

Sept 3. Final Nail in the Coffin for The Local Plan by SADC. The Planning Inspectors have now concluded in law that that the Duty to Cooperate requirements have not been met and so the Plan should be withdrawn.

Will the Rail Freight Depot be built?

Where will new houses br built?

Full details and the Inspectors letter.

Learn more

Sept 7. A Freight Terminal in Radlett or thousands of new homes?

St Albans M.P.Daisy Cooper wastes opportunity to make a solid case to oppose the Terminal in Parliament.

Learn more

Sept 7. Flexible rail ticket options needed for Harpenden commuters returning to work in London. Harpenden M.P. Bim Afolami suggests 3 day season tickets to Grant Shapps, the Government Secretary of State for Transport.

See Bim’s letter here.

Sept 9. Temporary Gym for 1LIFE Sports Centre users NOW OPEN at Harpenden Public Halls.

Full safety rules in place.

Mon - Fri  7am - 8pm;

Sat & Sun  8am -2pm

Learn more

Sept 14. Cycle routes funding loss in Harpenden and surrounding areas leaves Cllr Annie Brewster devastated.

Learn more

Children really engaged with Harpenden Academy’s Young Chef’s project 2020.

A great success, says Teacher Kate Watson

Learn more

Sept 16. Hearing aid batteries now available again at Harpenden Red House AKA Harpenden Memorial Hospital. NEWS from West Herts Hospital Trust who have stocked up all 3 types of batteries with Simon Jahan, who is the new supervisor.

OCT. Planting trees for a better future via a new Lyndhurst FM carbon offset ISA.

Learn more

October - December Talks

Harpenden Gardening Society’s   remaining Talks for 2020 will now take place online via ZOOM.

The first of these on Tuesday October 13 is a change to the published programme will see a return of one of our most popular speakers, Matthew Biggs a Gardeners Question Time panellist and prolific author.

Learn More

Oct 19. The Autumn Shopping Guide No 3  for the Harpenden High Street with special offers, new products and services. Shop local.

See the offers here in page turning format:


OR in single pages-click here

OCT. Live Theatre in Harpenden a big success at Katherine Warington School in September.

High Street Players production of A Doll's House met with appreciative audiences who really enjoying seeing live theatre. 

Learn more

Pop-Up Art Exhibition

Oct 12 - 18

Justine Lois Thorpe will be exhibiting her paintings along with jeweller Kate Wilkinson and ceramicist Audrey Hammett. There will be a warm welcome and opportunity to meet the artists in the Pop Up Shop, Leyton Road, (opposite Waitrose), 10am to 5pm daily and Sunday 10am to 3pm.

Learn more


Ways and Streams

An exhibition of paintings

by Rory J Browne

Oct 10 - 16

The Chapel, Highfield Oval, Harpenden,  AL5 4BX

Learn more


exclusive Interview with Harpendia.

Oct 2020

Read in full here

Oct. Harpenden Trust’s People Director, Pat Ring, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Harpenden during Covid-19. Part of the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Learn more

Oct. How to get your Autumn Garden in shape now and plan for a glorious Spring.

Advice from Renata Rybczyk Savage

Learn more

Oct. Coming to a Road near you soon...GAS PIPES being replaced in Harpenden and across the country in the next 26 years.

A giant Hoover helps...but it makes a heck of a noise!

Learn more