Cherry Green Trees
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Our History
The site’s proper name is Johnson’s Spring and appears as such on Ordinance Survey maps, 2 ½ miles from St. Albans and 1 ½ miles from Hatfield.
March 1934 The site was donated to North Middlesex Division by Herminie Eckstein in March 1934 when it became known as Cherry Green Trees.
1939-1945 Cherry was taken over by the war Agricultural Committee and during the Battle of Britain a German pilot baled out of his crashing plane and sheltered in Cherry woods.
1949 After much fundraising a Nissen hut  was erected at the cost of £108, and was officially opened on 7th March 1949. The site was to be divided into three campsites plus a hut for a ‘caretaker’ – Mr Williams used this hut rent free in return for repairs on site. There were also storage huts and latrines.
1955 First meeting of Cherry Green Trees Campsite Management Committee was held; this included five male representatives from six districts.
1956 Boundary fence was erected after a grant was received from CHQ.
1960 Our division which was the largest in the country was divided into two, North Middlesex – Palmers Green, Southgate and Winchmore Hill later Southgate Division and Finchley and Frien Barnet Division.
1964 The ‘Caretakers’ Hut had to be demolished and a building fund was started and in October.
1965 A 2 bedroom bungalow had been erected and Mr and Mrs Elgrave moved in at a rent of £4 a week. An outside toilet was also built plus the car park was surfaced.
1968 Mr and Mrs Norris became the new tenants in the bungalow and paid half towards a playroom built on the back of the bungalow for their two sons.
1969 From 1969 the annual Cherry fair was held to raise funds – these social events included many competitions for the Brownies, Guides and Rangers. There was also an annual dinner dance.
1971 Friends of Cherry was set up in January 1971. Electricity was installed at Cherry.
1972 Toilet block was completed in April.
1974 Mr and Mrs Mercer moved in to the bungalow.
1974 -1977 Nissen hut was demolished and a Marley Building was erected. This was opened on 1st May 1977 and was called Cherry Lodge.
1978 During previous years trees had been planted and also felled but in 1978 some Elms were sick and drew attention to the fact that all the trees needed looking at – cutting down and thinning out as they still do and are!
  Miss Nancy Baker started the sale of goods each weekend at Cherry to raise money – the beginning of the Shop. When she died in 1980 a memorial fund paid for a permanent shop on site.
1982 The car park was flooded, the 40 year old pipes had finally given up meaning there was no water for two sites - the lodge and loo block – more money was needed. 1982 also saw the first Cherry Supper. The Cabin was erected at the end of the field. David Hayes became the new tenant of the bungalow and was keen to help on site.
1987 Cherry lost 30 to 40 trees in the Hurricane causing £1000 worth of damage.
1988 Oasis [Shower and toilet block] was erected. The shop annually raised £300/£400 contributing towards the general fund.
1994 The lodge had a shower and toilet area made from part of the Kit End for Guiders in the lodge. Two other ‘Sheds’ were erected to compensate for the loss of space in the Kit End.
1997 The Kitchen was renewed in the lodge and a Games equipment store was started.
2000 Double glazing was installed in the lodge and warden’s office, and two new cookers were purchased. The coppicing and felling of trees started in the first quarter of the wood. The Hideaway was erected in the woods – a small nature centre.
2001 David Hayes left Cherry and Cherry was shut due to foot and mouth.
  Andy Clark moved in after the bungalow had been redecorated.
2003 Lodge toilets were refurbished to include a toilet for the disabled.
2004 The Waterhole was gutted and refurbished. ‘Bluebell Days’ was started - people were invited to visit Cherry and see the bluebells, and became very popular throught the years.
2006 Cabin was rebuilt.
2007 The Kit End was refurbished with thanks to the Jack Petchey Leader Awards Foundation.

Andy Clarke and family moved out of the Bungalow, which was cleared together with the garden and redecorated. Whilst the bungalow remained empty a team of volunteers visited and checked the site regularly during the week.

  The Wardens Office and store were re-housed in a pre-fabricated timber building and the original Wardens Office and store were converted into the "Bunkhouse" which consists of an ensuite bedroom for 2/3 people with wheeelchair access.
  Russell Bozier and his wife, Christine took over as the new caretaker.
  2000 trees were donated to Cherry by the Woodlands Trust on the condition that they were planted by the girls. This meant October & November were busy months for the girls, their parents and leaders.
2009 Due to Health and Safety regulations, new bunk beds were purchased for the Lodge and Bunkhouse with the help of the Jack Petchey Leader Awards Foundation.
  More trees were planted during February and March.
  The Bungalow bathroom was upgraded and cavity walls and loft insulated.
  A new bird table was erected.
  On the 29th March, the 75th Anniversary of Cherry was marked with a celebration tea party and tree planting at Cherry.
  A very successful Green Skills day was held for the girls, with everyone receiving a Cherry badge designed by two Brownies.
  A survey amongst Brownies and Guides resulted in a decision to install tunnels at Cherry with thanks to the Jack Petchey Leader Foundation.
2010 Two new benches were bought to replace the ones in front of the Lodge.
  The Tunnels arrived in October and work began on digging up trenches for the tunnels.
2011 All units were asked to organise a sponsored event donating 50% towards the Cherry funds.
  A new Cherry sign was erected at the end of the lane to replace the original one that had disappeared.
2012 An easier access games and equipment store erected.  The Memorial Plaque that was knocked over was restored facing the lodge rather than the field. The Flag Pole which was broken was replaced with a slightly shorter one.
  Discussions were held regarding refurbishments of lodge, better wheelchair access, more toilets and showers, kit end to be converted into lodge kitchen and a new Camp Store erected.
2013 ‘Cherry’ needs a make over – a new roof,  new camp store and lodge refurbishment. Grants were applied for and units asked to carryout fundraising activities.
  It is always difficult to judge when bluebells will be at their best, May 2013 proved to be one of the best shows ever.
  AUGUST: Mess tents erected on the field, everything was cleared out of the lodge and kit end, stored wherever there was space. The bunk beds were carried across the field and put in the tents. Carpets were protected with polythene sheeting – all removed and covered because of some asbestos in the cement on the roof.
  SEPTEMBER:The roof being replaced, everything was cleaned and put back again.
  DECEMBER: The new camp store was erected using grants, money from units and the Friends of Cherry.
  OTHER NEWS: The farmland along the lane was cleared and houses were built and Tarmac laid on a small section of the lane and pot holes filled in.
2014 The high winds and torrential rain brought many trees down in the woods resulting in a lot of work and expense.  
  NOVEMBER: Our caretaker Russell Bozier and his wife moved out of the bungalow to a new home. This meant that volunteers are seeing visitors to and from Cherry and the Bungalow is being decorated, until a new caretaker is found.
2015 The Bungalow was re-decorated and the roof repaired before the new caretaker – Steve Pauley and his wife Pat moved in. Steve was made permanent caretaker at the end of October.
  A new Camp Store was erected and now holds all the tents and equipment as well as fridges and a freezer, and the very popular ovens.
  As monthly Work Days were no longer very well supported it was decided to try 2 or 3 ‘Big Work Days’. These proved quite successful as did the bacon butties for lunch!
  Trees fallen in the high winds are being closely monitored, new trees have been planted.
  Bluebell Days were again well attended and enjoyed by all.
  Fundraising has been going on all year to raise at least £60,000 to refurbish the Lodge. Grants were also applied for, some of which were successful.
  The original Kit End was emptied into the new Camp Store and November saw the Lodge kitchen, the leader’s room, the wash room and the main room being cleared ready for the refurbishment to begin. Once the building work is complete, the refurbished areas will need decorating for the first visitors in April 2016.

NOVEMBER 2015 – MARCH 2016: the Lodge was refurbished, the old Kit End is now the Lodge kitchen. The leaders room has a new wash room suitable for wheelchair use.
The ‘old’ kitchen has become another washroom with 4 washbasins and 2 showers. The original washroom has 3 toilets and 2 wash basins and a special needs toilet and shower. New flooring was laid and rooms re decorated.


MARCH: Although not quite ready, paving to be laid and a new front door to be installed, our first visitors arrived at the end of March.


APRIL: 23rd April saw many visitors at Cherry to look at all the renovations which were thought to be a great improvement

We had visitors to view the Bluebells which were enjoyed by all who came.

The fund raising efforts enables us to buy and replace vital equipment for our site. Click here to read more on how you can support us.
Work Days
26 March
21 May
17 June
23 July
Bluebell Days
22 April
23 April
24 April
read more ...
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