Visitors enjoying the panoramic landscape of one of the most beautiful spots in the Colne Valley now have a head start when it comes to recognising local attractions. A specially-commissioned sign pointing out landmarks such as the Grand Union Canal, Broadwater Lake and Northmoor Hill Wood, now sits proudly overlooking some of the best views in London at The Old Orchard Pub in Harefield.
The project was paid for thanks to grants from Grundon Waste Management through the Landfill Communities Fund; and also the National Lottery’s Heritage Lottery Fund. Deborah Valman, project manager at environmental charity Groundwork South, which commissioned the sign, said: “In 2015, Colne Valley Park celebrated its 50th anniversary and the local councils wanted something to recognise the value that this area of natural beauty brings to the local community. “We knew that people often went into the pub to ask questions about the wonderful view and, given that this is one of the best views across the Colne Valley, we thought a sign would be the ideal way to mark the occasion. We were delighted that, with funding from Grundon and the lottery, we were able to go ahead with the project.”
Views from the hill stretch across three counties, from Middlesex to Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire and, as well as being a popular recreation area, it is also an important wildlife habitat. Anthony Foxlee-Brown, Grundon’s marketing & communications manager, said: “This is such a beautiful place in the heart of our operating area. We always do our best to help local communities and it’s great to know that many local people will take pleasure from looking at the sign and appreciating the stunning English countryside.” Artist Richard Allen painted the scene from a series of photographs and his painting was then reproduced with name labels pointing out the different areas. Staff at The Old Orchard have agreed to take on maintenance and ensure the sign is well looked after.