Hardwick Road Playing Field

As part of the Parish Council’s response to its declaration of a Climate & Biodiversity Emergency, we are looking at the various open spaces in the village to consider how they can better contribute to carbon capture and provide value for wildlife whilst continuing to meet their functions as areas for relaxation and exercise.  You may have seen the recent consultation on proposals for the Brookside Playing Field which were generally met very favourably and work to implement parts of the plan are going ahead in November.

A plan for the Hardwick Road Playing Field has also been prepared, and people who live in the houses immediately adjacent to the site have now been consulted with very positive outcomes.

Below is an outline of the proposals and a map, and a link to an online questionnaire. 

If you want to comment on the plan please use this questionnaire.

It is worth noting that in a meeting on site with some of the people local to the Field, various points were emphasised: 

  • it would be good to set up a Friends of Hardwick Road Playing Field group both to help with the implementation of the plan, and to ensure that the existing function of the Field as a space for games and recreation is fully protected
  • nothing should be done that would get in the way of the games of football, cricket etc that are so valued on the site

Perennial meadow: A two to five meter deep ‘ curved verge’ of longer grass which will be managed to encourage perennial wild flowers such as oxeye daisies, red campion, primroses and yellow rattle. This would require a cut in July, Sept. & March in the first 2 to three years, then once a year in August/Sept with all arisings raked away (& left as small piles to rot down in the adjacent ‘Spinney’) to reduce fertility for a more flower rich diverse meadow to evolve. Some plug planting and seed sowing of native species could also take place.

Expanded ‘fruiting thicket / hedge / Spinney’: A two to 3 meter deep area to be planted as a fruit and nut rich traditional hedgerow mix – containing: Sloes, Hazel, Barberry, Hawthorn, Crab apple, Wild plums, Damsons etc. The existing Blackberries will be allowed to establish below as the trees grow up and the Parish council would be committed to maintaining the boundary no more than 3m from it’s existing edge and to maintaining height for light / Potentially coppicing? as required every 4-5 years.

Small Blossom trees: These could be dwarf cherry trees (to not cast shade over residents gardens) Edible cherry varieties could be selected, though the birds will be likely to enjoy them first 🙂 They could equally be Plum trees. Each tree could be sponsored, for a nominal amount, in memory of a local resident with a small plaque hung from a branch.