The Heartwood Forest is a large rural area with many acres of woodland which is near Sandridge in Hertfordshire. It is most commonly used for cycling, horse riding and dog walking.
Over the next twelve years, the Woodland Trust will be planting over 850 acres worth of trees making the Heartwood Forest the largest, native forest in England. The Woodland Trust has been holding public tree plantings since it purchased the land in late 2008 which have been very popular.
Since the Forest will be a large tourist attraction, the Trust will need to build a new car park for visitors to the forest to use. The location of this car park has been somewhat controversial however; the current proposed location cuts into the Hertfordshire Green Belt land and it will require an access road which will apparently ruin the view out of the Tara's Retreat care home. There is another possible location which will not require an access road and will not cut into the Hertfordshire Green Belt land. It is located in the triangle of land where the B651 and Coleman Green Lane meet and contains space for 50 cars as well as an "overspill" area for an extra 100 cars. The Trust said that it was originally their preferred site for the car park, but they dismissed it for safety reasons as exciting the car park would require crossing a B road. The Heartwood Car Park Action Group has addressed this with a new proposal to address the safety issue in a letter sent out to all residents of Sandridge. The proposal is for a new footpath to be created going from the entrance of the car park on Coleman Green Lane to a new pedestrian crossing next to the roundabout at the end of Langley Grove.
Local residents are quite divided on the issue of a new car park; while some think that a car park is necessary for the success of the Heartwood Forest, others are against the project as a whole if it requires a car park. A new car park will also mean more traffic travelling through Sandridge which is something local residents are opposed to as it will create more air and noise pollution in the village.