Village Green for the Community
THE PLAYGROUND AREA IS OPEN. WHEN VISITING AND USING THE AREA PLEASE FOLLOW GOOD PRACTICE REGARDING COVID-19 AT ALL TIMES.
The Millennium Green is available to the community to use as a quiet space, for games with children and to exercise your dog .... but please pick up after your dog.
It is also available for Fetes and Outdoor Events.
The George Millennium Green
The Village Green is administered by The George Meadow Millennium Green Trust on behalf of the Village.
The current trustees are Jennifer Stringer, David Hannah, Charles Stewart-Smith, Matthew Headley and Oliver Fenn-Smith.
To celebrate the impending start of a new millennium, the Countryside Agency (now Natural England) sponsored an initiative in 1998 to create a number of new Village Greens throughout the UK. The Parish Council of Brompton Regis agreed to support this idea and it was decided to investigate whether the land to the south of the George Inn could be developed into a Village Green for Brompton Regis. The land at the time was heavily overgrown and, more challenging, was owned by a property developer. Notwithstanding the challenges of a small village raising sufficient funds to purchase and develop the land it was decided to press ahead with an application.
The early planning challenge was centred on establishing the framework for raising funds and early consultations to buy the land. The Countryside Agency would only provide 25% of the purchase costs and the value of the land was to be determined by an independent district valuer. Needless to say it took some difficult negotiating with the developer before we were able to agree in principle to buy the land for a reasonable sum. It was at this point that the developer decided to build the properties at the southern end of Brompton Meadows. There was a great deal of discussion and correspondence over design, boundaries, drainage and maintenance before an agreed plan could be finalised.
In parallel with the early planning, fund raising activities were started in the Village. Many were sceptical that a village of our size could raise the £42,000 required as our contribution to the purchase price but a fund raising campaign targeted a wide range of possible donors who contributed generously. Most were persuaded by the many Village fund raising events which, although raised only small sums, demonstrated the commitment by the Village. The traditional fund raising thermometer was erected near the telephone box and although progress was sometimes slow did demonstrate we were getting towards our goal. An early decision was that the Green would incorporate the existing children’s play area.
Establishing the Green
The Countryside Agency grant could only be released after we had established a Charitable Trust and prepared and signed a Deed of Covenant. The five original trustees were, Peter Page, Jennifer Stringer, Alastair Mathews, Chris White and David Hannah and the Deed of Covenant states what the Green is established to do which includes:
• making a substantial contribution to the life of the whole community
• being able to be enjoyed by people of all ages and physical abilities
• including an area suitable for community events and celebrations.
When the land was finally purchased it was cleared of all the scrub and weeds and then the re-growth was kept short until the grass took over and a lawnmower was purchased to keep the grass in check. Trees were planted and the boundary hedge established. The original power cable strung across the Green was buried in order that the view to Haddon Hill was not impaired. The seating areas were added and Russel Cowling delivered the huge piece of quartz that records the opening of the Green on 7 May 2001. The Green was officially opened by the youngest and the oldest persons in the Village at the time: Grace Langdon and Sam Cowling.
Since the original establishment there have been a number of improvements, mainly to the children’s play area. The original sunken concrete play tunnels have been replaced by new equipment and other activities introduced. The play area is inspected annually by RoSPA to ensure it is safe. The Village Green grass is cut by local volunteers using a ride on mower purchased by the Trust and every year there is a major clear up on the Green. The Green remains available for public and private functions. Its situation at the heart of the Village and surrounded by the Village Hall, the Church, the Pub and residential properties together with the views across to Haddon Hill give it a special significance in the Village.
In addition to grants from the Parish Council, the Green relies on donations from the annual Brompton Regis Show and Gymkhana toward annual running costs including insurance and grass cutting expenses.