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Community Orchard / Recreation Ground

Public Meeting

Monday 23 March 7pm - 9pm

 

Due to Coronavirus this meeting has been postponed. It will be held later in the year.

 

At the Catbrook Hall AGM held on Monday 11 November, one of the issues that was raised and discussed was the use of the Catbrook Recreation Ground / Football pitch. This has not been used as a football pitch for approximately 30 years and is unlikely ever to be used for this purpose again; it is now, apart from regular mowing for hay in the summer, generally seldom used except for the occasional dog walker.  There was universal support from those attending on wanting to transform the disused football pitch into a community orchard / wildlife reserve / community space that the whole community can use throughout the year. 

 

 

Orchard

It became apparent at the meeting that there was considerable commitment from a number of residents to get involved from wanting to plant fruit trees and other native trees beneficial for wildlife, maintain areas for wild flower meadows whilst also providing areas for people to sit and relax, build wildlife “hotels” and bird boxes, repair fallen walls, replant native hedging and all in all come up with a plan / business case to apply for funding to transform the area into something that would benefit our local village and hamlets. These ideas certainly fit in with the environmental and biodiversity themes that have risen in prominence locally, nationally and globally. One of the criteria for the use of the land by Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) is that it is used for “recreational purposes” and the first step was to approach MCC to see if the ideas that were raised would fit within these criteria. This has resulted in a positive response from MCC who are very supportive of the idea and have encouraged the local community to come up with a formal proposal on what they are looking to achieve and create; they have also indicated that they are willing to offer advice or support where appropriate.

 

The next stage of this process is to see what support there is in the community to develop this idea further. Setting up such a project will require the involvement and commitment from a number of residents who would be prepared to carry out any work required over a period of time both in terms of physical work on the site and development and management to ensure its continued success. Without this, the project will be doomed to failure from the outset as there will be a considerable amount of work to make this a reality.

 

It was felt that the best way to move this on is to seek everyone’s views and discuss any concerns, what features would be welcome or wanted, what management and funding arrangements are needed so that if there is support and commitment, work can commence on preparing a detailed proposal that can be submitted to MCC. Work would also be needed to explore what other funding initiatives or sources could be approached to support the project initially and going forward. To be clear, this suggestion is for a public discussion and not within the remit of the work of the Community Council, the Hall Committee or MCC, and if it is to go any further it can only be with a genuine agreement and commitment from residents of Catbrook and District.

 

To facilitate this an open public meeting is being organised at Catbrook Memorial Hall on Monday 23rd March starting at 7pm. We would encourage everyone to attend if possible so that everyone has the opportunity to put forward their ideas and any issues they wish to raise. Alternatively if people are unable to attend please feel free to email either Guy or me on the email addresses below with any comments you wish to make. Hopefully by giving everyone sufficient notice people will be able to attend as it is important everyone has the opportunity to raise issues and be involved.

 

Andy Pullan & Guy Bowden

Catbrook Memorial Hall & TUCC