March 2023

Deadline for the April 2023 newsletter is 25 March

Preston Parish Council

Parish Council Meeting: Thursday 2 March

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 2 March at 8pm in the village hall. Any member of the public who would like to raise an issue to be discussed at this meeting should contact the Clerk.

Members of the public who would like to speak to the Parish Council in person should register with the Clerk prior to the meeting.

Contact details are: Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council:

Open Gardens And Tea: St Pauls Waldenbury: Sunday 2 April 2.00 – 5.00 p.m

Would anyone be able to make a cake or two to sell with the tea? Whatever you enjoy making will be gratefully received. All proceeds to St Martin’s Church. Cakes can be delivered to

They will also collect cakes if necessary.

Coffee Morning In Aid Of Red Cross

St Martin’s Church will be holding a charity coffee morning at 10.15am after the family service, on Sunday 19 March (Mothering Sunday). Proceeds will be sent to the Red Cross Crisis Relief charity to help victims of the Turkish/Syria earthquakes. Please come along to support this event.

The Preston Trust Great Easter Egg Hunt And Trail 2023

Saturday 8 April – 2.00pm – 5.00 pm (last entry 4.00 pm)

It’s nearly time; the Easter Bunny is on his way
With Easter Eggs and lots of games to play

Saturday April the 8th will be the date
So, it’s really not that long to wait

Arrive in the afternoon to have lots of fun
Enjoy yourselves as you hop, skip & run!

The Preston Trust committee would like to invite you all, once again, to its Great Easter Egg Hunt and Trail. There will some new games along the trail and different emoji puzzles to solve… We are asking for bookings so that we have enough eggs and so that any child with dietary needs can still take part in the fun! Simply let us know any allergies or intolerances when you book.

Payment of £2 per child will be on the day.

To book, or to ask any questions, please

First Litter Pick Of 2023, Saturday 4 March, 10.00 – 12 noon

The Preston Trust committee would like to invite you, once again, to lend a hand to pick up litter around the village and parish. The number of visiting ramblers and dog-walkers seems to continue throughout the parish – they appreciate our mostly quiet lanes, our litter free footpaths, and a possible destination of our Red Lion! We wish to demonstrate our clean and green rural environment. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and bring your gardening or DIY gloves. We have the Hi-Vis jackets, the litter pick tools and sacks. As usual, we will work in pairs along each lane and path, and bring the filled sacks back to St. Martin’s Place in Church Lane.

Do please just come along, and lend a hand! As you all know, many hands make light work! You are all very welcome.

Liz Hunter and Rae Reynolds, Preston Trust committee

Preston Celebrates The King’s Coronation…

Sunday 7 May 2023 – A Street Party in Celebration of the Coronation of King Charles lll and our special community.

As well as eating and drinking, laughing with old friends and hopefully making new, we’ll have lots to do. From team games like a tug ‘o’ war and three legged races to welly wanging and sack races where you’ll be on your own.

There will also be a fancy dress parade and competition for both children and adults, so search your drawers and cupboards to come up with your winning creation.

The Great Preston Coronation Bake Off judges will be looking forward to sampling the scrummy entries as they feast their eyes on the creative masterpieces…You can choose sweet or savoury bakes as long as you think they are fit for a king!

Monday 8 May 2023

The ‘Big Help Out’ A FUNd Raising Walk…

Have a wonderful time with family and friends, both old and new, whilst helping others at the same time. We are planning a FUNd walk, possibly one to Minsden Chapel and another around Wain Wood. The idea being you pay a donation to come on the walk you choose, where you can enjoy the scenery, the company, maybe learn things about the parish and surrounding countryside and there may even be a treasure hunt on the way… The money raised will go towards our community and local charities.

These two days are still in their early days of organisation so, for the Street Party please let us know your ideas. Is there a game or competition you’d like? Would you like the fancy dress competition to have a theme? If you do – do you have a suggestion? For The FUNd Walk please let us know your ideas. Is there a fun fact about the areas we may be walking in, which you’d like to share? Routes are being planned now and will be recced before being finalised. The PKCC committee have started a list of charities you will be able to choose to donate to, but do you have a suggestion you would like to be considered? We will keep you updated with new information including ways you can get involved, help before and on the days, and enter competitions.

Whatever your thoughts please let us know.

Village Day And The Return Of The Scarecrows!

1 July 2023 – Please save the date.

There will be more information about the Street Party, The FUNd Raising Walk and Village Day in April’s newsletter, on the PNS, on the dedicated facebook page and on instagram.

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

Sunday 5th March 9.30am




St Martin’s All Age Communion

Romans 4: 1 – 5, 13 – 17

John 3: 1 – 17

All Saints All Age Communion

Sunday 12th March 9.30am




St Martin’s Holy Communion

Romans 5: 1 – 11

John 4: 5 – 42

All Saints Sunday Praise

Sunday 19th March 8am



All Saints Holy Communion (BCP)

St Martin’s Family Service

All Saints Holy Communion

Colossians 3: 12 – 17

Luke 2: 33 – 35

Sunday 26th March 9.30am




St Martin’s Holy Communion

Romans 8: 6 – 11

John 11: 1 – 45

All Saints Holy Communion

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

A Letter From Our Team Vicar

People often talk to me about their worries and anxieties. The fact is, we all have fears, it is part of being human. There’s the fear of the future, the fear of dying or ill health, fear about the way the world is going, fear of failure, fear of not having enough money.

In one of his most famous sermons, Jesus acknowledged that we all have fears (Matthew 6:25 onwards). He knows that we worry; and worrying, he says, calls for new approaches. Look around you. Consider the birds. Consider the lilies of the field. They don’t worry. They act as if God is in charge. And so should you. Consider the natural world around you and trust in the God who sustains it. Imagine that you are held in the palm of God’s hand.

Jesus then moves on to the question of time. Our fears are mainly about the future. Will my pension be big enough? Will my cancer come back? Will Ukraine ultimately beat the Russians. And so on. Jesus says: concentrate on the now. Don’t think about the past and don’t worry about the future. Stay in the now. Focus on one thing at a time, especially on what you can control or influence. That may mean just sitting still in a room, if we can find the time to do that. Or listening to music. Or, as some will say, sitting quietly and meditatively in prayer, perhaps thinking of just a simple phrase of scripture: O Lord increase my faith. All this simply to concentrate. It will reduce our anxiety and so help to free us from our fears.

And there’s a third thing that can help us cope with worries: it is to connect with others. Most obviously and immediately connecting with those devastated by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Connecting with anyone else who needs our help or our support.

The period of Lent, which we entered on Ash Wednesday on 22 February, is a time for reflection. A time to consider, to concentrate and to connect.

With every blessing

St Martin’s Church 150 Club 2022/2023

he winners in the February draw in the 2022/23 150 Club (£30 each) were:

No. 54 Mrs P A Stark
No. 128 Revd E Bunker

This is the final draw of the 2022/23 year. Tickets for the 2023/24 150 Club are now being raised automatically for those participants who have taken standing orders, others are being distributed to past participants for renewal. We welcome any new participants – tickets cost £20 for the year, with at least 25 prizes of £30. This is an important source of income for St Martin’s church to help maintain the building and churchyard.  If you would like to join please call Richard Blockley 457631.

Hitch Wood Information

In conjunction with St Paul’s Walden Bury Estate, Preston Parish Council would like to provide information about Hitch Wood for Preston residents

A recent report studying the tree growth had highlighted that there were a number of dead trees caused by squirrels ring-barking them. Ring-barking is a process which removes the living tissue from a tree in a ring around the trunk causing it to die. The report also noted the damage being caused to the woodland by the large deer population too, with severely restricted regrowth happening as a result of their presence.

The report means that pest control, including shooting, needs to take place periodically to reduce the numbers of squirrels and deer to protect the wood for the longer term. Shooting is always authorised by the estate and is a legal activity. All those shooting will have the appropriate licences, qualifications and insurance to allow them to be involved. The wood is closed when shooting is taking place.

Whenever closure signs are in place, people should not enter the wood. A plan of the wood and the permissive paths accompanies this newsletter. People should only enter the wood at the indicated entrances and exits and should remain on the permissive paths at all times. Entry at any other point, as well as straying off the pathways, is trespassing. In previous years, there has been considerable damage to the bluebells and other plants and habitats by people straying off the paths.

The paths marked on the attached plan [please see map in print edition of this newsletter] have been established by St Paul’s Walden Bury Estate as permissive paths following requests from the public. These are in addition to the historic Public Rights of Way. As permissive paths, the estate can withdraw the access at any time. This happens in Hitch Wood when tree maintenance and shooting is taking place and is withdrawn for the safety of the public.

St Paul’s Walden Bury Estate is very proud that Hitch Wood is home to the largest breeding colony of Barbastelle bats in the UK and this is down to a lot of hard work by all members of the estate team to create the right habitats for the bats and for the insects they feed upon. It is important that all walkers stay on the permissive footpaths for conservation reasons and to protect the bluebells. Dogs should be kept on leads whenever they are in the wood to avoid disturbing wildlife.

The estate is continually working hard to improve the wildlife habitats and the wider environment. Many hedges and trees have been planted, and field margins left to return to a more natural state, to provide wildlife corridors between the more heavily wooded areas. The estate is currently involved in a large tree planting programme to enhance the diversity and age range of trees in the wood. They are always looking for volunteers to assist with this and would be delighted if anyone from Preston wanted to get involved. Those interested should email Sophie Barber on

Neighbourhood Watch

The number to contact at North Herts Police for all non-emergencies (including witnessing of fly-tipping) is 101 or 01707 354000.

For removal of fly tipping which has already occurred, call NHDC 01462 474000 or online at, then follow the links to Transport and Streets, Street Cleaning and Fly Tipping where there is a form to complete to report the details. If you use the What3Words app, please include the three words for the location of the fly tipping.

PC Claire Ross and PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues. Their contact details are as follows:

PC Claire Ross: 01438 757604

PCSO Heather Burrows: 07740 745168 or 01438 757604 or

In the event of an emergency or if you witness a crime taking place please call 999.

Reporting suspicious activity

Please report any suspicious activity or vehicles you may witness in the locality.
Call the police on the non-emergency number 101 or report it online by using the website and follow the links.

​Reporting Scam Emails and Texts

Please report suspicious emails to Action Fraud at:
Scam text messages should be forwarded to 7726.

Hitchin Foodbank Shortages

The following items are the most urgently needed: Instant coffee (100g); 1ltr Long Life milk; 1ltr Long Life juice; Dried milk, Dried potato, Tinned tomatoes; Jam.

Please ensure items are undamaged and in date. Donations can be deposited in the blue box in the garage at Lychgate House, Church Lane, or at Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.  Thank you for your continued support; for more information, please visit

February 2023

Preston Parish Council
– Volunteer Emergency Telephone System (Vets)
Hitchin Foodbank Shortages
Fallen Trees
Preston Village Society
The Preston Trust
– our first LITTER PICK of 2023, 4 MARCH, 10.00 – 12 noon
– Please save the dates:
The King’s Coronation Celebrations

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services
A Letter From Our Team Vicar
St Martin’s Church 150 Club 2022/2023
Neighbourhood Watch… Read More

January 2023

Shares in The Red Lion
Parish Council Meeting: Thursday 12 Januaryi
Preston Trust – Please save the dates:
– January 2023 – A talk by Andrew Lambourne of LADACAN
– May 2023 – A Village Celebration for the Coronation of King Charles the lll.
– July 1st 2023 – Village Day and the return of the Scarecrows!

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services
A Letter From Our Team Vicar
St Martin’s Church 150 Club 2022/2023
Neighbourhood Watch
Hitchin Foodbank Shortages… Read More

December 2022

Carols Near The Christmas Tree On The Green And The World Cup In Qatar Sunday 4th December at 4 30 pm
SG4 in The Red Lion at Christmas
Parish Council Meeting: Thursday 1 December
Local Government Boundary Commission Consultation
The North Herts Museum – a splendid Exhibition, on until 29.01.23

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services
A Letter From Our Team Vicar
St Martin’s Church 150 Club 2022/2023
Neighbourhood Watch… Read More

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