At one with nature in Stanstead Abbotts

PUBLISHED: 17:32 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:47 20 February 2013

Stanstead Abbotts

Stanstead Abbotts

Situated in idyllic countryside, residents of Stanstead Abbotts are perfectly placed to enjoy all aspects of village life - and they do. Nicola Piggott explains

EMBRACING the parishes of St Margarets and Great Amwell, Stanstead Abbotts is blessed with two rivers, two bird reserves and countless miles of unspoilt countryside.

The Rye House Bird Sanctuary and Amwell Nature Reserve offer the ideal setting to get back to nature and enjoy the beauty of this attractive part of the county.

The aptly-named New River, built at a higher level to the River Lea, forms an effective western flood barrier to the latter. District councillor Nigel Copping, who has lived in the area since 1947 comments: 'New River and The River Lea are within 100 yards of each other. The New River was dug to provide a level route into London, just 22 miles away.' Teeming with wildlife the banks of the River Lea also play host to scores of water-based activities including the Lee Anglers Consortium, the Lee and Stort Cruising Club and the yacht club.

In fact, up until the 1960s flooding became a major problem for the village. But thanks to pressure group, the Ashley Amenity Society (AAS), of which Nigel is still a member, flooding is now not such a problem. 'The high street used to be liable to flood, but the last one I can remember was back in 1967. The society campaigned for something to be done and a system was set up to divert the water elsewhere,' recalls Nigel.

The AAS is also responsible for reducing the amount of vehicles passing through the village, with its successful campaign to install a bypass. More recently the village has also won the right to enforce a lorry ban, which means the High Street no longer bears the burden of heavy traffic making it a far more pleasant and safe centre for its residents.

The youngsters of Stanstead Abbots are well catered for with the newly-invigorated Youth Club. Village resident Clare Ewing has been very much involved in reinstating the village Youth Club. She explains: 'I was asked three years ago to help out one night each month. Nowadays it seems that it's almost a full-time job in itself. I manage the club now with the help of eight volunteers and it would not be possible without them.

'The Youth Club is important to the village as it gives children a safe place to meet their friends. The fact that we have in excess of 40 children there some nights shows we are doing something right.'

If messing about on the water, 'twitching' or just enjoying a scenic stroll are top of your agenda, then Stanstead Abbotts is more than likely to be your cup of tea.

Article taken from June issue of Hertfordshire Life

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