Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Election

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 02/09/2015 - 6:30pm
Continuing our theme of school-based films we have the criminally under seen Election, an Alexander Payne film starring Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick, a driven and determined high school student running for student council president. Standing in her way is Matthew Broderick, as her teacher determined to stop her. The film also stars Jessica Campbell and Chris Klein.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Drivetime Sessions with @BenSimmons_

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 02/09/2015 - 6:05pm
Ben Simmons performed on the drivetime sessions today with the original songs "No Oceans" and "Where We Once Were" as well as a cover of "Last Request " by Paolo Nutini .

His debut single is now available on soundcloud

You can also find Ben on Twitter and Instagram.

If you missed the performance or just want to listen again you can do so using our listen again service by navigating to Wednesday from 5.30pm.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Tokko Youth Space - 9th July 2015

The Parents' Show - Wed, 02/09/2015 - 3:24pm
This week we hear from Executive Manager, Andy Calvert who talks about the opportunities and activities available to teenagers at Tokko Youth Space in Luton.

Click to Listen >> Tokko Youth Space
Categories: Programme Blogs

New Music Playlist w/c 31st August 2015 & this week's featured track by Don Henley

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 01/09/2015 - 7:19pm
Hi Drivetimers

Hope you had a lovely August.  We're still trying to get the sand out of our things but are all set for a week of fresh Drivetime goodness!

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

a-ha - The Wake
Cliff Richard - Golden

David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock
Duran Duran - Pressure Off (feat. Janelle Monáe & Nile Rodgers)
George Ezra - Barcelona
Hozier - From Eden
Kacey Musgraves - This Town
Kate Rusby - We Will Sing
Keith Richards - Trouble
Kerri Watt - Long Way Home
Leona Lewis - I Am
Longfellow - Choose
Mika - All She Wants
Mumford & Sons - Ditmas
Nerina Pallot - Rousseau
New Order - Restless
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Lock All The Doors
One Direction - Drag Me Down
Rachel Platten - Fight Song
Richard Hawley - Heart Of Oak
Sheppard - Let Me Down Easy
Simply Red - Ghost Of Love
Stereophonics - I Wanna Get Lost With You
The Cat Empire - Qué Será Ahora
Thea Gilmore - Live Out Loud
Tina Arena - Overload
Tony Momrelle - Pick Me Up
U2 - Song For Someone
Ward Thomas - Guest List

Items in BOLD are new additions

This week's featured track is the brand new single by Eagles frontman (& drummer) Don Henley called Take A Picture of This:

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Grease

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 01/09/2015 - 6:30pm
Because this is the week that kids and teachers up and down the country go back to school, I've chosen 'school' films as the theme for the film club this week. So we start with Grease, the John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John classic musical, which tells the story of young love, fast cars and lots and lots of dancing, all set in a 1950s American high school. Stockhard Channing and Jeff Conaway also star.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Dave Weaver On @getwriting2015

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 01/09/2015 - 6:19pm

Today Dave Weaver, of the Verulam Writers' Circle, was in the studio to discuss Get Writing Day 2015.

The event, which is in its eighth year, offers writers a chance to develop their existing skills, take part in workshops, or pitch manuscripts to figures in the publishing industry.

Another exciting opportunity the event offers is the chance to enter the Get Writing Cup. Entrants can submit a short story of any genre, for the chance to win a cash prize and get noticed by publishers.

There are still tickets available for the event, which takes place on the 26th of September at West Herts College in Watford.

For more information visit:

Or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter

Categories: Programme Blogs

Local organic food growing cooperative reaps great 2nd harvest

Environment Matters - Tue, 01/09/2015 - 8:28am

Environment Matters this week was joined by Tom Carmen from Food Smiles. Tom explained that Food Smiles, now in its second year, is a cooperative of local people who work together to produce organic veg which is then shared in weekly veg boxes. He was delighted with the success of this year’s harvest and with the enormous range of delicious veg that was being shared each week.

Food Smiles invited everyone to join them at their Harvest Festival at their plot at Hammonds End Farm between Redbourn and Harpenden 2-6pm on Saturday 12th September. You’ll be able to meet some Food Smilers, see what they have achieved so far and talk about what’s involved.

If you are interested, there are a number of joining options.

Also coming up is Grow it Cook it Eat it, part of the St Albans and Harpenden Food and Drink Festival. Unfortunately you won’t find it in the festival brochure, due to an error, and they do hope you’ll join them on Wednesday, September 23rd, for a harvest-time celebration of all things homegrown. There will be displays of produce and pictures of what Food Smiles have been up to this year, there will be tasters and produce to take home, there will be seeds and seedlings available in return for a small donation, and members  will be on hand to answer questions and give advice about growing your own at home. The event will take place in the yurt at the Blacksmith Arms so drinks, including a range of real ales, will be available at the bar. The event is free and you’re welcome to drop in at any time between 8pm and closing time.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Remember, remember the 1st of September...

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 26/08/2015 - 1:15pm
...for the triumphant return of West Herts Drivetime with the GORGEOUS Danny Smith!

Danny and the team will be back from next Tuesday with guests that week including Matt Adams from the Herts Advertiser, Jane Slatter from St Albans Soroptimists, Dave Weaver from the Verulam Writers Circle and LIVE music on the Drivetime Sessions courtesy of local singer/songwriter Ben Simmons.

That's West Herts Drivetime with Danny Smith, back next Tuesday from 4-7pm on 92.6FM Radio Verulam and online at
Categories: Programme Blogs

Pesticides implicated in bee decline return to Hertfordshire

Environment Matters - Mon, 24/08/2015 - 9:45am

Common carder bumblebee

(Common Carder Bumble Bee. Stephen Falk)

Back in 2013 the EU placed a moratorium on the use of a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, due to an increasing body of evidence implicating them in the steep decline in bee numbers.

However, after pressure from farmers, David Cameron’s government has temporarily lifted the ban in certain areas of the UK, one of which is Hertfordshire. As a result, neonicotinoid pesticides can, for a while, be used in fields around St.Albans.

Farmers say the lifting of the ban is too little too late and environmentalists are signing petitions asking that the ban be immediately reinstated.

So, on this contentious note, I spoke to Vanessa Amaral-Rogers from the invertebrate charity Buglife and then to Bill Barr who farms land between St.Albans and Redbourn.

You can read more about what Buglife have to say on their website.

Needless to say, the National Farmers Union have plenty to say too, so do take a look at their bees and pollinators webpage.

If you’d like to find out more about some of the scientific research into the effects of neonicotinoids on bees, then take a look at the website of the scientific journal Nature – in particular there’s a great summary of some of the recent research in an audio clip by Marian Turner which you will see at the side of the page. The most recent findings that Vanessa mentioned, from the Government’s own Fera scientists can be read here.

You can see read what the Government has to say about their position on neonicotinoids on their website.

Next week we hear from the local organic food producing group Food Smiles who have news about their new polytunnel, up coming harvest festival and monster tomato plant. Listen to Radio Verulam 92.6fm Tuesday and Thursday lunch times on the Local Life Show just after noon.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Eating Disorders - 11th June 2015

The Parents' Show - Fri, 21/08/2015 - 2:54pm
This edition of the Parents Show discusses eating disorders in young people, with accounts from Rebecca Perkins, a coach and mum who has first hand experience of raising a child with anorexia and Deanne Jade, the Founder of the National Centre for Eating Disorders in England

Click To Listen >> Eating Disorders
Categories: Programme Blogs

Abbey Line Proposals

Environment Matters - Thu, 20/08/2015 - 8:38am
Passengers prepare to board the Abbey Flyer at Watford Junction platform 11

The Abbey Line, running between St.Albans Abbey Station and Watford Junction, is under review yet again. This time the idea of converting the line into a guided bus way is on the table.

We spoke to Dave Horton of Abfly, the Abbey Flyer’s users’ group and Trevor Mason, the Safe and Sustainable Journeys manager from Herts County Council.

Take a look at the Abfly website for their views on guided busways, predicting demand and a passing loop.

To find out train times, stops, and places to visit along the Abbey Line, take a look at the Abbey Line website.

We highlighted some events involving a bit of green fun over the weekend:


Cassiobury Park bat walk

This Fri, 21/08/2015 – 8:30pm – run by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Venue: Cassiobury Park LNR – take a look at their website for more details.

Wild Adventure Day – Wild Art Attack! – NEW afternoon session

Tue, 25/08/2015 – 2:00pm – 4:00pm – Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Venue: Panshanger Park     Forest School fun at Panshanger Park


Flamstead Scarecrow Festival 2015

Friday 21st August – Sunday 23rd August 2015

Every year Flamstead has the most wonderful Scarecrow Festival – it is a fun family event with Free parking – althought you can of course avoid the inevitable traffic jams and cycle there.

It’s hard to describe the Scarecrow Festival itself – the whole village takes part, there a scarecrows on all sorts of themes all over the place, and it is quintessentially English. I can imagine any American Tourists would love this quirky fun.

There will be free entertainment including: Morris dancers, punch and judy, brass band, art exhibition in the church plus others. There will also be cream teas in the village hall and village fete actvities: tombola, white elephant stall etc.

This is the 14th year of the festival, and all the profits go to the upkeep of the Village Church, St. Leonard’s, and the Herts Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre – the 2 charities that provide all the effort in planning the event and the volunteers that help run the event over the weekend.

Venue: Flamstead village

Time: Friday 12:00 – 17:00, Saturday 10:00 – 18:00, Sunday 10:30 – 17:00.


Harpenden Farmers Market

Sunday 23rd August 2015

The Harpenden Farmers Market occurs on the fourth Sunday of every month. Featuring a range of produce, it is located along the Lower High Street. The market usually consists of approximately 70 stalls.

Location: Lower High Street, Harpenden

Time: 10am until 2pm

Telephone: 01582 768278


St Albans Electric Bike Tour

Sunday 23rd August 2015

The opportunity to try an electric bike and get out for tea and cake too. The ride starts from the Mill Green Mill in Hatfield and visits many locations including Verulamium Park, Gorhambury and Wheathampstead, before returning along the Ayot Greenway to the Mill. A delicious cream tea is served at the Mill and you can visit this interesting 18th Century watermill.

If you’re feeling more ambitious, there are also Bike tours around The Chilterns departing from Berkhamsted.

For Sunday’s ride the Tour starting point: Mill Green Mill, Mill Green Lane, Hatfield, AL9 5PD

Time: 10:30 – 14:45

Cost: £35 per person or £50 per couple. This includes a cream tea at Mill Green Mill

Contact: To reserve your place you can telephone 01442 927522 or visit

Follow us on Twitter at  @RV_environment

Email us at with your requests for future shows.

Listen in next Tuesday and Thursday just after noon as part of the Local Life Show.


Categories: Programme Blogs

Nanoparticles in soil and new garden at Ayletts

Environment Matters - Tue, 11/08/2015 - 11:43am


Sun cream is one products which now often contain nano particles, but they are also found in many other places including odour resistant garments and other toiletries. We are barely aware of them, but this week I spoke to Professor Steve McGrath from Rothamsted Research about recent findings about the damaging effects on plant growth when nano particles get into soil.

Take a look at the findings of the research on the Rothamsted website.

Dahlia Field 2015

We also heard about the fabulous new garden that Ayletts Nurseries have set up as part of their 60th anniversary. They’ve incorporated their famous dahlias into a summer long display, as well as planting insect friendly wild flowers and some flowers for cutting so customers can take a posy home with them.

And if you love visiting gardens then take a look at where you can find all the gardens open for the National Garden Scheme.

If you’ve not heard of this, the idea is that people open their lovely gardens to the public, charging a small entrance fee.

The gardens can be of all shapes and sizes and types, but they are all inspected by the rigorous NGS inspector and are all worth a visit.

Sometimes there will be tea and cake available, sometimes there’s live music – but there’s always a beautiful garden to enjoy.

All proceeds go to nursing and caring charities for which they have so far raised over £45 million, so it’s all for an excellent cause too.

As usual, if you missed the show you can listen again on the Radio Verulam website – Environment Matters can be found a few minutes into the Local Life Show every Tuesday and Thursday just after mid-day.

Categories: Programme Blogs