Final push needed to preserve woods

This Is Wiltshire: Members of the parish and campaigners, from left, Paul Hurst, chair of Wroughton Parish; Parish councillor Steve Harcourt; Brian Tildesley, secretary at Vision for Wroughton;  Brian Phillips, chair of Vision for Wroughton; June Lane; Pam Baker and Terry Members of the parish and campaigners, from left, Paul Hurst, chair of Wroughton Parish; Parish councillor Steve Harcourt; Brian Tildesley, secretary at Vision for Wroughton; Brian Phillips, chair of Vision for Wroughton; June Lane; Pam Baker and Terry

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on the people of Wroughton to join them in their big push to safeguard the village’s nature reserve for future generations.

Kings Farm Wood was rescued from potential development back in 2012 after parish councillors along with Swindon Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust teamed up to buy the £180,000 woodland.

The local authority and trust pledged £100,000 and £50,000 respectively towards the purchase of the grounds and even fronted the parish council the remaining £30,000.

The village immediately rallied together to reimburse the council’s loan and has so far raised nearly £16,000.

With just until the end of March 2014 to raise the remainder, activists and councillors are urging villagers to donate generously as they embark on one last fund-raising drive.

Jane Lane, one of the leaders of the campaign, encouraged parishioners to help preserve Wroughton’s legacy for decades to come.

“It’s our big push and we are asking people to make a donation or hold an event.

It makes a difference. People are really passionate in the village and they have been extraordinarily generous already. What we’ve done so far has really worked and we need the community to continue to help.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy the woodland for 125 years. It will be ours, so to speak. I know people have the willingness to help. There is strength in numbers.”

Kings Farm Wood is a 45-acre woodland that links the existing reserves of Clouts Wood and Markham Banks to the southern edge of Wroughton.

The wood will be owned jointly by Swindon Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and managed by the trust on a 125-year lease.

Parish council chairman Coun Paul Hurst said he was pleasantly surprised by villagers’ eagerness to back the appeal over the past few months.

He said: “The borough council fronted the money for us and we are committed to paying it back.

“We have until March next year but I think raising £13,000 in that time is feasible. I’ve been surprised at how the community has really rallied round to help us. They have organised events and put leaflets through people’s doors. The community never ceases to amaze me.”

Fundraisers will hold a New Year’s Day walk at 2pm, leaving from Willow Brook Gardens.

They will also attempt to swell the appeal coffers at a Mile of Money event on January 25, between 11am and 1pm, during which villagers will be invited to donate enough to create a mile-long line of coins from Ellendune to the Willow Brook Gardens.

To make a donation contact the parish office on 01793 814735 or email clerk@wroughton.gov.uk

Comments (5)

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7:44am Tue 17 Dec 13

Antonio Lorusso says...

this could almost be a fine example of how you preserve what you value by putting your money where your mouth is and buying it, not using the nimby's favorite tactic of screwing developers through appeals to politicians and the planning laws. big shame about the 100k from the council, but at least their attitude was in the right place.
this could almost be a fine example of how you preserve what you value by putting your money where your mouth is and buying it, not using the nimby's favorite tactic of screwing developers through appeals to politicians and the planning laws. big shame about the 100k from the council, but at least their attitude was in the right place. Antonio Lorusso

8:18am Tue 17 Dec 13

StillPav says...

So the council cannot afford to empty our bins, but they can afford 100 grand on this vanity project?
So the council cannot afford to empty our bins, but they can afford 100 grand on this vanity project? StillPav

8:58am Tue 17 Dec 13

Hmmmf says...

Antonio Lorusso wrote:
this could almost be a fine example of how you preserve what you value by putting your money where your mouth is and buying it, not using the nimby's favorite tactic of screwing developers through appeals to politicians and the planning laws

You do understand that planning laws were created and are designed precisely to prevent the need for ordinary people to have to buy land to protect it from greed and unfettered, unprincipled, and uncontrolled development, don't you?
You do understand that the Town and Country Planning Act is intended to provide environmental protection as well as controlled, sustainable development, and that local objection to development is not only perfectly lawful, but being a vital part of the planning process, expected and invited?
I ask because your post suggests you do not (or perhaps you do, and have a vested interest in unregulated development).
[quote][p][bold]Antonio Lorusso[/bold] wrote: this could almost be a fine example of how you preserve what you value by putting your money where your mouth is and buying it, not using the nimby's favorite tactic of screwing developers through appeals to politicians and the planning laws[/quote] You do understand that planning laws were created and are designed precisely to prevent the need for ordinary people to have to buy land to protect it from greed and unfettered, unprincipled, and uncontrolled development, don't you? You do understand that the Town and Country Planning Act is intended to provide environmental protection as well as controlled, sustainable development, and that local objection to development is not only perfectly lawful, but being a vital part of the planning process, expected and invited? I ask because your post suggests you do not (or perhaps you do, and have a vested interest in unregulated development). Hmmmf

11:56am Tue 17 Dec 13

StillPav says...

Actually, this is very strange. The whole area is surrounded by fields. How is buying a small 45 acre plot going to prevent development south of Wroughton? Are SBC going to buy up every farmers field that comes onto the market?

Maybe the Adver could do some digging to find out who owns this land and whether they are related to the "campaign" for it to be purchased.
Actually, this is very strange. The whole area is surrounded by fields. How is buying a small 45 acre plot going to prevent development south of Wroughton? Are SBC going to buy up every farmers field that comes onto the market? Maybe the Adver could do some digging to find out who owns this land and whether they are related to the "campaign" for it to be purchased. StillPav

12:01pm Tue 17 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

StillPav wrote:
Actually, this is very strange. The whole area is surrounded by fields. How is buying a small 45 acre plot going to prevent development south of Wroughton? Are SBC going to buy up every farmers field that comes onto the market?

Maybe the Adver could do some digging to find out who owns this land and whether they are related to the "campaign" for it to be purchased.
Digging to find out owns the land, very funny!
[quote][p][bold]StillPav[/bold] wrote: Actually, this is very strange. The whole area is surrounded by fields. How is buying a small 45 acre plot going to prevent development south of Wroughton? Are SBC going to buy up every farmers field that comes onto the market? Maybe the Adver could do some digging to find out who owns this land and whether they are related to the "campaign" for it to be purchased.[/p][/quote]Digging to find out owns the land, very funny! house on the hill

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