Poole’s Fields in Trust Honoured At Awards

[reproduced from the Borough of Poole archives, December 2012]

Borough of Poole is celebrating success following the 2012 Fields in Trust Awards Dinner.

Poole was named as best landowner in the South West as we have designated six open spaces as Fields in Trust (FiT). Plainfield Farm Recreation Ground in Broadstone was honoured for its outstanding ‘Have a Field Day’ event to celebrate the newly protected status of the field which saw over 2,500 residents join in a community day full of activities and raised £4,000 at the fantastic community event held on Jubilee weekend.

The Awards celebrated the hard work and achievements of those who have helped to make the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge such a success. Local authorities, parish councils, Have a Field Day organisers and community volunteers were all recognised and rewarded.

To build on the success of the awards, local community groups and Borough of Poole are working together to improve facilities at Broadstone’s Fields in Trust.

A bid for funding has been submitted to SITA Landfill Trust and, if successful, would help improve the Fields in Trust at Broadstone Recreation Ground and Plainfield Farm, as well as Broadstone Heath Nature Reserve, for all users of these popular open spaces.

From fun and interactive wildlife panels and new signage to access improvements such as handrails and new paths, there are a range of ideas that will make it easier for people to use the park.

The funding bid was made in November as part of SITA’s ‘enhancing communities’ fund and applicants will be notified of a decision in March 2013. Some match funding is required and this is coming from the Broadstone planning obligations (developer contributions) fund.

The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Carol Evans, unveiled the Purbeck stone and plaque to mark the dedication as QEII jubilee fields on Saturday 1 December, and helped raise awareness of the funding bid.

Cllr Carol Evans, The Mayor of Poole, said: “It is wonderful to see the community working so closely and effectively with council officers and we all have our fingers crossed for the success of the funding bid.”

Both Broadstone Recreation Ground and Plainfield Farm now have an extra layer of open space protection on them, which means that any significant changes in the future have to be approved by the Council and the Fields in Trust. These designations prompted local groups such as the scouts, Broadstone football and cricket clubs and others to come together to work with council officers to try to raise the quality of what is on offer at one of Poole’s largest open spaces and help their respective groups to flourish.

Cllr Judy Butt, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Public Engagement and Participation, Borough of Poole, said: “The designation of the Broadstone Fields in Trust is brilliant. The community have worked so hard to deliver a superb open space. Winning the ‘Have a Field Day’ category at the inaugural FiT awards this November truly reflects the hard work of everyone involved. This is fantastic national recognition for the fabulous work of our local residents, real Localism in Action, and I would like to congratulate everyone involved. Poole also won the South West Regional Finals for the Most Protected FiT Fields for having six of our open spaces designated as FiTs and I would like to thank all residents involved in all these fantastic scheme for their hard work.”

Cllr Vikki Slade, Ward Member for Broadstone, Borough of Poole, said: “This dedication marks a year of hard work by our community and in particular Broadstone Football Club and Scout Group. Broadstone FiT Association beat over 350 other sites to be crowned the best ‘Have a Field Day’ which is a tribute to the hard work in both the committee and whole community. Our Fields in Trust Association is excited about the prospects for improvements to both of our dedicated jubilee fields over the coming years including orienteering, nature trails and improved pitches. I am delighted to be working with such a great team.”