Village of the Year 2008 & 2009
By Emma Pearce
In 2008 Woolmer Green won village of the year East and village of the year for Hertfordshire in the Calor Gas Village of the Year competition, organised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. The competition consists of four categories: Environment, Business, People and Communications. Each carries a plaque and a cash prize. To win the coveted Village of the Year East a village needs to enter all four categories and perform well generally.
Aside from the prizes presented by Calor the village was also given a red maple by Majestic Trees as a prize for the village’s success in the competition. The village received a commendable report from the judges with the comment ‘This is probably the first time that a village has achieved equal highest marks in every category of the competition.’
Some areas and activities for which the village scored marks included:
• The monthly Farmers’ Market and the organiser who uses his culinary skills to encourage residents to savour the delights of ‘wild food’.
• The Neighbourhood Watch Online Watch Link (OWL) software developed by the local neighbourhood watch co-ordinator.
• The local school St Michaels Primary School, which buzzes with a range of activities and was judged to be outstanding at the latest OFSTED inspection.
• The production of a new footpath map and photographic survey by one of the older village residents.
The following year Woolmer Green again had success in the competition by winning Village of the year East. But because the village had won the countywide competition the previous year it was not able to win village of the year for Hertfordshire in 2009. Woolmer Green also achieved a regional prize in the Business category.
A ceremony was held at the pond on 18th July 2009 with refreshments and was open to all villagers who wished to attend. It was a hot summer day so fresh drinks and strawberries were served under the shade of several small pavilions.
A representative from Calor came to present the award and was received by the parish chairwoman who accepted it on behalf of the village. A commemorative totem pole was erected at the junction between London road and Mardleybury road.