Welcome to the Harpenden Society

Actively involved in Harpenden's future

Category One. Urban

May include any aspect of the built environment such as: Shops, Public buildings, Schools, Churches, Monuments

Category Two. Transport

May include, but is not limited to: Walking, Train travel

Motoring / parking, Cycling, Flying

Category Three. Recreation

May include, but is not limited to: Parks, Fields, Sports facilities, Runners, Dog walkers

2024 Photography Competition

The Harpenden Society, in collaboration with the Harpenden Photographic Society (HPS), is proud to announce the launch of a unique photography competition aimed at capturing images of the key aspects of life in Harpenden that are important to you.

The aim is to create a bank of compelling images reflecting awareness and engagement with the local community on topics such as urban development, transportation, and recreation.

These photographs will form an image bank the Harpenden Society could use in it’s future campaigns to illustrate important issues in their newsletter, website and local media.

Who can enter

It will be open to all residents, as well as members of the sponsoring organisations.

What to photograph

The competition has three distinct categories: urban, transport, and recreation. Entries should adhere to specific guidelines, including obtaining express written permission for the use of recognisable facial images and compliance with copyright provisions.

How to supply your photographs

All images should have been taken in or around Harpenden and fit into one of the three category themes. Complete the online submission form with your contact details and a brief statement, up to 30 words, describing the image and its significance (please note there is a maximum of one entry per category per person).

Images should be submitted in jpeg format, and should be no larger than 10Mb. After completing the online submission form email the image(s) to:




A panel of judges, comprising representatives from both the Harpenden Society and the Harpenden Photographic Society, will evaluate the submissions based on creativity, relevance to the specified themes, and overall artistic merit.

Winners will be selected in each category and awarded prizes to recognise their contribution to the campaign.


Each of the 3 categories will have up to 3 finalists. Every finalist wins a mounted print of their winning image.

The winner of each category additionally receives a £25 voucher from Harpenden Books.

The winner of the best image from an entrant under the age of 18 will receive a £100 voucher.

The winner of the overall best image as chosen by the judges will win the following package:

  • £100 voucher
  • a year’s free membership of Harpenden Photographic Society
  • a year’s free membership of the Harpenden Society


The competition entry deadline is midnight 30th November 2024. No entries accepted after this date. Finalists and Winners will be announced via email by no later than 31st December 2024.Finalists will have their winning entry displayed at the Harpenden Photographic Society annual exhibition in April 2025.

The Terms & Conditions relating to the competition can be downloaded by clicking here.

The online entry form can be accessed by clicking here.

Left to right, James Clarke (Rothamsted), Katherine Tate (The Food Teacher) and Jeff Phillips (Chairman, The Harpenden Society).

May 16th Public Meeting


Farming well and eating well


Exciting new developments in the world of agriculture, driven by new technology, including artificial intelligence, were spelled out by James Clarke, communications and engagement director of Rothamsted Research, at a public meeting on May 16 organised by the Harpenden Society in the lecture theatre of Katherine Warington School.

Under the questioning title 'Can we eat well sustainably?', Mr Clarke asserted that in the next 50 years we will (globally) need to produce as much food as has been consumed over our entire human history. Sustainable farming will be key and that will need multiple solutions, he said, not least because of the effects of climate change, adding that we must reduce the use of chemicals, making their application much more selective, helped by the smart use of robots and drones. A more holistic approach was needed, in order to raise productivity, per acre or hectare, biology had to be made to work in our favour


Following Mr Clarkes presentation and on a complementary subject, Katharine Tate, a Harpenden-based award-winning nutritionist, (The Food Teacher) described how How healthy eating can keep you fit and well, with an emphasis on controlling ones blood sugar level through following a sensible diet, based on a range of nutrients, including a rainbow of different coloured fruit and vegetables.

The above presentations were preceded by the Society AGM, hosted by Chair Jeff Phillips.

Our Newsletter


Harpenden Society members regularly tell my colleagues and me how much they look forward to the quarterly arrival of our newsletter. Many say it has become their primary source of news of whats happening in our town.

Over the last eight years or so, under Alan Buntings editorship, it has broadened its coverage to include not only hard (often exclusive) news but also in-depth features about local enterprises their history as well as their vital place in Harpendens commercial life. As a result of Alans stewardship, the size of the newsletter has increased accordingly, from six to eight and then to twelve pages.

However, Alan acknowledges his advancing age and in consequence, his wish to ease the workload involved where, it should be added, the main challenge is not the writing but gathering the source material that is identifying and researching potential stories.

What we have agreed is that we need find someone to provide what might be termed editorial support for Alan. This could be someone, possibly with a journalistic background or with journalistic aspirations, who would like to help maintain the newsletters role as the flagship of the Harpenden Society.

Interested, but want to know more about the job description? If so please contact Alan on editor@harpendensociety.org  or myself on chairman@harpendensociety.org

Jeff Phillips

Chairman, Harpenden Society

Parking Issues


SADC have announced We are carrying out a review of on-street car parking across the District".

The Harpenden Society has reviewed the situation and issued the following comment:

The loss of free parking in the centre of Harpenden with the potential damage to local business and further congested side roads needs to be carefully examined.

The Harpenden Society have been aware of the overall transport issues in Harpenden for some considerable time and commissioned the University of Hertfordshire last summer to produce a report that looked at all the road transport issues that the town faces, including parking. Published in the Autumn it was seen as a guide for the creation of a Transport Forum partnering with HTC and town politicians to investigate further and take actions.

Society Chair Jeff Phillips said, We need to understand the statement from SADC more fully, consider the consequences and make recommendations. These can then be submitted for inclusion in the public consultation which will give all residents the chance to air their views.

The full SADC statement is below.


From SADCs  Chris Traill, Strategic Director for Community and Place Delivery for St Albans City and District Council.

One issue we are looking at is whether it is sustainable to continue to allow free parking in bays given the high level of demand and the resulting pressure on spaces.

Government advice is that on-street parking charges

should be set higher than car parks to encourage the use of car parks to reduce congestion and emissions as well as improve safety.

Charges may deter motorists from taking up spaces for long periods, help cover the costs of our parking services and encourage active travel such as walking and cycling.

We are also looking at the provision of disabled parking in our main high streets and whether there needs to be improvement, focusing not simply on the number of bays but on having the right number in the right location.

When we have drawn up our proposals, there will be a public consultation when residents, businesses, community groups and other organisations can give their views.

All feedback will be considered before the proposals are finalised and any decisions are made.


Finally, we will also be looking at requests for residents in various parts of the District for Controlled Parking Zones to be introduced.

These follow concerns that it has become difficult for residents and their visitors to park in some streets and that restrictions are needed.

There is a process that is carried out before a Controlled Parking Zone is introduced including intensive public consultations.

These are community-led initiatives and will only happen if there is a consensus about the need for change among residents and other stakeholders. 

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