30/03/2012 - Permalink

Shropshire’s opportunity to join Queen Elizabeth II Field Challenge

Related topics: Leisure and culture / My area

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve the designation of 23 recreational sites on Wednesday 4 April 2012, as part of a national campaign to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics in 2012.

The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge campaign has been launched to dedicate 2,012 recreational open spaces as Queen Elizabeth II Playing Fields in 2012.

The flagship campaign is managed by Fields In Trust, an independent charity that works to protect and improve playing fields, and is led by the charity’s patron, HRH Prince William.  The campaign aims to protect 2012 outdoor recreational spaces in communities all across the country as a permanent living legacy of these landmark occasions.

Councils throughout the country have been asked to support the scheme by nominating their own land and also supporting town and parish councils and other providers to nominate their land.

Councillor Keith Barrow, Leader of the Council, said:

“We are so lucky in Shropshire to have so many wonderful green open spaces, which are a real asset to our wonderful county. We are extremely proud to be supporting this national challenge.  This is a great opportunity for us to recognise and build a legacy from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.”

Shropshire Council had applied for 23 designated sites, one of the largest applications so far, 13 of which are council-owned, and include:

  • Fishmore View Play Area, Ludlow
  • Gatacre Recreation Ground, Oswestry
  • Lodge Lane Park, Bridgnorth
  • Llwyn Coppice and Playing Field, Oswestry
  • Trefonen Playing Fields, Trefonen
  • Abney Avenue Park, Albrighton
  • Lyth Hill Country Park, Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury
  • Broadlands Way Open Space, Oswestry (including Eaton Field and
  • Pond, and the Noise Protection Zone)
  • Brynhafod Recreation Ground, Oswestry
  • Market Drayton Picnic Area, Market Drayton
  • Bridge Inn Field, Ruyton XI Towns
  • Porthywaen Playing Fields
  • Wilfred Owen Green, Oswestry 

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for active and healthy lifestyles, said;

“I am delighted that we have submitted so many recreational fields for QEII registration. What better way to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics in 2012.  The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge campaign will ensure that these prestigious events will be celebrated in fitting style.  We will ensure that these sites will be well maintained for public recreation both now and for future generations.”

Shropshire Council-owned open spaces designated Queen Elizabeth II Fields will secure their use as public recreational spaces for use such as sport, play, exercise and community events.

The selection of sites to be nominated has been given careful consideration to ensure that the sites meet the QEII Fields criteria and are not likely to be made available for future housing or commercial development.  Once designated, they cannot be used for other purposes, unless replaced with other suitable land of equal area.

Once designated, plaques provided by Fields in Trust will be installed at each site.  Community events are currently being organised to mark the celebrations.

For more information about the campaign call Amy Davies, Shropshire Council’s green space development officer on 01743 255912. 

Other remaining sites include:

The following sites are owned by Shropshire Council but have third party interest. Some sites are leased and others are jointly managed:

  • Birchmeadow Park, Broseley – Estate Services have highlighted that this site may not meet the criteria due its charitable status. The site has been left in to ensure Fields In Trust can check this statement against their criteria. The conclusion will be shared with the Park Management Committee, who have requested this site is nominated. Further work regarding the Trustees of this site is to be carried out once the site is nominated. It is believed that the Trustees of the site will need to authorise dedication. This is to be reviewed after the nomination process.
  • Curriers Lane Play Area, Shifnal – Leased to Shifnal Town Council, who have requested the site is designated (not including area leased to dental practice).
  • Jubilee Play Area, Dyas Close, Shifnal – Leased to Shifnal Town Council, who has requested the site is designated.
  • Railway Walk, Much Wenlock – This will be nominated as part of a larger dedication including the Gaskell Recreation Ground, which is owned by Much Wenlock Town Council.  It has been confirmed by Estate Services that this land is not a ransom strip and therefore fits the criteria for this project.
  • Wheatfield Recreation Ground, Shifnal – A small proportion of this site is owned by Shropshire Council, with the larger portion of the site being owned by Shifnal Town Council.  The entire site will be dedicated as part of a joint application.
  • Whitchurch Waterways Country Park, Whitchurch – The Wildlife Trust manage part of this site for Shropshire Council.  They have agreed to the nomination.
  • Lyth Wood and the Stanley Parker Playing Fields – These are two adjoining sites, Lyth Wood owned by Shropshire Council and the Stanley Parker Playing Fields owned by Bayston Hill Parish Council.  The sites will be nominated as one whole site as part of a joint application.
  • Cleobury Mortimer open space – This site is owned by Shropshire Council but is managed through Lacon Childe School. The school, including its governors, have agreed for the site to be nominated, with a possibility of the site then being transferred to the parish council.  All parties have agreed to the nomination.
  • Caradoc view play area, Hanwood – Owned by Shropshire Council and leased to Hanwood Parish Council.  The parish council requested the nomination.
  • Claverley School Field – Owned by Shropshire Council and managed through Claverley Primary School and Claverley Parish Council through a joint use agreement.  The governors of the school and Claverley Parish Council requested the nomination of the site.

Sites mentioned above which will be involved in a joint application include:

  • Railway Walk, Much Wenlock and Gaskell Recreation Ground.  The three parties involved in the Deed for this site are: Fields In Trust, Shropshire Council, Much Wenlock Town Council.
  • Lyth Wood and Stanley Parker Playing Field – The three parties involved in the Deed for this site are: Fields In Trust, Shropshire Council, Bayston Hill Parish Council.
  • Wheatfield Recreation Ground, Shifnal – The three parties involved in the Deed for this site are: Fields In Trust, Shropshire Council, Shifnal Town Council.  

The list of nominated sites is based on consultation carried out with divisional councillors and ward councillors during September and October 2011, who put forward the final list of sites.

The Queen Elizabeth II Field dedication protects the land in perpetuity, or at least for 99 years, to ensure that the land remains available for recreational uie.  Once dedicated, they cannot be used for other purposes unless replaced with other suitable land of equal area.