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Chimney sweep Watford
Chimney sweeps - Solid fuel fires - Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

Chimney Cowls and Bird Guards in Bushey, Hertfordshire

Chimney Cowls and Bird Guards in Bushey

A little about Bushey in Hertfordshire

The origin of the Bushey name is not really known. With the original name Bissei, an early theory states that it may have meant Byssas Isle, and that it started life as a lake village surrounded by marshes, streams and lakes. However, a more modern theory is that it is simply derived from the Old English word bysce and Old French boisseie, meaning a place covered with wood. The latter theory could prove more valid, as the town is located on the border of the Chiltern Valleys, which were once covered in dense forests of oak, elm, ash, hazel and juniper.

Bushey Heaths story begins in the Napoleonic Wars during a large food shortage. To help solve the problem, the government awarded the waste land to the east of Bushey to Bushey landowners to be used as farming; this land was more generally known as Bushey Common. Whilst the original aim was to produce food, being close to a railway and up to five hundred feet above sea level with beautiful and broad views made the area attractive for housing developers.

The 19th and 20th centuries marked the time of most change in Bushey, especially between 1860 to 1960. The population rose 28 times its size within 200 years, from 856 in 1801, to just under 24,000 today. This sudden explosion was due to many reasons, one of the main ones being due to the boom in industry caused by the railway in the early 20th century. A result of this was that many new jobs were created in and around Watford, and in the early 1920s, Busheys first council houses were built. More housing was later built for the service families working in defence organisations in Stanmore and Northwood. The expansion eventually died down, due to much of the land in and around Bushey being protected under the Metropolitan Green Belt after the Second World War.

This same Metropolitan Green Belt legislation was also partly responsible for the abandonment of the pre war Edgware to Bushey Heath extension as part of the Northern Heights programme of the Northern Line underground railway. The Metropolitan Green Belt put great restrictions on new development, and the plan was to use the new railway to stimulate new housing around the new route; without the new housing the route was deemed no longer viable. However, as work was advanced at the onset of war the depot was completed for use as bomber manufacture, and following the Second World War and Metropolitan Green Belt coming into force it was converted into the Aldenham bus depot. This itself became famous as Cliff Richards Summer Holiday film. It remained a bus depot until 1985, when it became derelict. It was redeveloped in 1996 and is now the Centennial Park Industrial Estate. Conceptual plans existed in the 1903 Act of Parliament for an Edgware to Watford railway that would have seen the railway extended at a later date though Bushey village and on to Watford market, though even less came of this than the partially completed Edgware to Bushey Heath stretch.

Stories, legends and folklore of Bushey

The lack of farming in Bushey Heath meant that it was a heavily wooded area up to the 18th century, and this, added to the lack of street lighting and police, meant that Bushey Heaths history is full of tales of thieves, highwaymen and even murder. The road from Bushey Heath to Stanmore is said to be where the highwaymen lurked, ready to raid the dozen or so caravans that passed through Bushey Heath on a daily basis, carrying money from trade in London. Before venturing through the pass, parties of travellers and merchants would form at the Boot Inn at Edgware and the Three Crowns at Bushey Heath so they would not have to venture through the pass alone. Although one of the highwaymen responsible for the attacks is rumoured to have been the notorious Dick Turpin, evidence suggests that he was in fact more active in the region of Essex.

Bird cages, caps and cowls fitted in Bushey

Should your chimney require a cap or cowl, Ansell Chimneys will have the one to suit your property to protect against the following:

  • Birds or squirrels getting into and possibly nesting in the chimney
  • Our caps and cowls prevent rain from getting into the chimney
  • A good quality cowl or cap stops down drafts
  • To prevent bird and rain entry to a disused chimney, leaving the homeowner with an option to start using a fire in the future without having to clear many years build up of debris.

It is vital to fit the correct type of bird cage, cowl or cap, or problems may occur. With Ansell Chimneys valuable experience, we can identify your particular needs and advise you on the correct type for your situation. We will also look at the other houses nearby to ensure we fit one that is in keeping with the Bushey area.

Ansell Chimneys fit all the major types of cages, caps and cowls, so let us know what you want to keep out of your chimney and we can tell you what would be the best option for you.

Ansell Chimneys have a selection of cowls in our vans to demonstrate what they look like and what they are most effective at keeping out of the chimney. We will then arrange to come back to Bushey to install the correct cap or cowl to your chimney.

Fitting the caps and cowls is a relatively straightforward job and we do everything we can to avoid the need for scaffolding or other specialised access equipment, a ladder will usually be sufficient.

Fortunately, Bushey is well within our 'areas covered' range so this will not push the price up at all for either chimney sweeping or bird caps and cowl fitting.

Birds nests and blockage removal in Bushey

One of the first signs that an animal is making a home, or has previously made one in your chimney is that there will be twigs, leaves or other debris in the fireplace that has fallen from above. The most frequent culprits that like to set up residence in your chimneys tend to be some of the carrion birds, such as crows and magpies and occasionaly squirrels. There are plenty of these creatures around Bushey and as the town expands, their natural habitat is decreased. This simply means they will look for an alternative place to roost or nest, as the number of trees diminishes.

Any obstruction in a chimney can be potentially lethal! It's not just the solid fuel fires that are a problem either, even a gas fire will release carbon monoxide back into the living space if it can't escape safely up the chimney. When it comes to a fire that burns solid fuels, the chimney can become blocked resulting in smoke coming back into the room or a chimney fire could start, causing a huge amount of expensive damage to the rest of your home.

If you think there is a blockage in your chimney, don't wait for something bad to happen, give us a call immediately. We will remove the blockage and in doing so, be in a better position to tell you why it happened in the first place. For example, there may be a loose or dislodged brick or piece of mortar. It may even be a nest from a bird or squirrel and a bird cap or cowl may well be the answer to prevent it happening again in the future.

Because birds eggs and nests are protected by law in England and Wales and that there may be hatched baby birds in a nest, we will not remove nests during the breeding season, which is May & June, this ensures that the young have had a good chance to leave the nest. After all, there are fewer birds around Bushey already because of loss of habitat, light pollution and the increase in the number of cats that are kept as pets. Ansell Chimneys like to ensure that we don't contribute to the decline of our little feathered friends.

Why not ask Ansell Chimneys for advice on sweeping your chimney in Bushey

Ansell Chimneys really are the experts, If you are experiencing a lack of draw on a chimney, or smoke finding its way back into your room, give us a call; we are always very happy to provide advice on what could potentially be a life threatening situation.

Ansell Chimneys advice is free of charge. If you can't use your fire because it's dangerous, you will be missing out on the homely glow a real fire brings during the winter months. So why not give us a call and get that open fire up and running again.

Cost of chimney sweeping services

Our prices are based on the property location and number of chimneys that need sweeping. Please contact us for a no obligation quote. As Bushey is not far from our head office, jobs here will not attract a higher quote.

Smoke tests in Bushey

After Ansell Chimneys have swept your chimney, we carry out a quick, simple but effective test to ensure there is the correct draw and no smoke or other pollutants can flow back into your living space. This is quite simply a match-like device that smokes profusely when burnt and is placed just above the site of the fire. If the smoke is neatly drawn up the chimney, the fire will be safe to use.

So if you live in Bushey and need your chimney swept, why not call or email Ansell Chimneys and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Ansell Chimneys

t: 01923 661 614

m: 07941 282 325

Watford

St Albans

Hemel Hempstead

Bushey

Bricket Wood

Rickmansworth

South Oxhey