Village green improvements get under way in Fremington

Park life: Julie Wickham, Paul Curtis, Frank Biederman, Ian Smith and Derek Chaplin are pictured on the village green. Picture by Tony Hebblethwaite Park life: Julie Wickham, Paul Curtis, Frank Biederman, Ian Smith and Derek Chaplin are pictured on the village green. Picture by Tony Hebblethwaite

Monday, June 9, 2014
2:28 PM

Community-led project aims to enhance open space at the heart of village life.

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THE first phase of a community-led project to upgrade Fremington’s village green got under way today (Monday).

Villagers have raised thousands of pounds and spent many months planning a series of enhancements for the parish council-owned plot next to Han Court.

The Fremington and District Community Group listened to feedback from a consultation event held in February last year to come up with a plan to improve access to the green, and encourage more people to use it.

Today, work began to remove brambles and create a path and grassed area to open a link to the nature reserve at the rear of the green.

Project spokesperson Ian Smith said: “The village green is already well-used for community events throughout the year but the improvements will hopefully encourage more people to use it as a green space on a daily basis.

“We had a good turn out at the consultation event and plenty of support from residents for the draft plans we had drawn out.

“Following the consultation we have made a few amendments to the plans, including moving the main entrance to the green over to the side to improve access and reduce its proximity to the road.

“We have decided to carry out the project in phases so that it’s easier to manage and we would really appreciate help from local residents to help carry out the work in the later phases.

“We hope to recruit lots of volunteers from the local community to help, to reduce costs and encourage pride and ownership of the green.”

Community group chairman Frank Biederman said: “It is great to see this project get started; I would like to thank the local community for all their support.

“I hope that this first phase will encourage more people to come forward with offers of support to complete phases two to five, which include a path all the way around the green, new enhanced entrance, band stand and boules pit.

“This support could be in the form of donations, labour, or business sponsorship; I ultimately want to see our village green become a real community hub, with lots of community events and get-togethers taking place there.”

Paul McWhinnie, who first raised the suggestion of enhancing the village green, added: “The village green is a valuable green space at the heart of our village, but I felt it lacked identity as a village green and that it was under used on a day-to-day basis.

“We hope that through this enhancement project that this area will become immediately recognisable as a village green and that it will be a much used and loved area of the village.”

Villagers are being invited to check out the work at a special World Cup barbecue taking place on Saturday to celebrate the start of the tournament.

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