27 Jun 2012

Finn's Way now owned by Randwick Parish Council

District Councillor Andy Read, forwarded the press release below with the photo. It is great that the Parish are looking to continue maintaining the site as a wildlife oasis. It is also worth mentioning that it was the original landowner who insisted on some of the space remaining public when homes were built nearby - thanks to them we have this space now.

A popular wild green space between Randwick and Cashes Green has been safeguarded for future generations following a handover to Randwick Parish Council.

PHOTO: The handover was marked by the planting of three native trees on the site. Pictured at the handover (from left to right) are: Randwick parish councillor Ruth Fogarty, Trustee John Bale, parish council chairman David Preece, and trustee Caroline Aistrop with Eleanor Aistrop (front - aged 6 and a half!) with an amphibian friend who hopped into a hole while a tree was being planted!

Finns Way, between Cashes Green Road and Humphries Close was left over from a housing scheme around ten years ago. It was taken on eight years ago by a local charity, which has worked with the local community to turn it into a green oasis for people and wildlife. Yesterday charity trustees completed an official handover to parish councillors in a deal that will preserve the site forever.

Finn’s Way, which adjoins Randwick Scout Hut is named after the donkey, Finn, who was a popular resident on the field before developers moved in. Now regular visitors include deer, foxes, badgers, slowworms and a significant number of frogs and toads who hide in the patches of meadow grassland.

“When we took on the site it looked unloved and was just an area of grassland,” said John Bale, a trustee of Stroud Community Land Trust. “Working with Stroud Valleys Project, local residents, the scouts and the school it has become a wonderful mini wildlife site as well as a valued public space. The charity now feels it has taken the site as far as it can and that the parish council is best placed to preserve it for future generations.”

The handover of the freehold of the site to the parish council includes £17,000 towards future maintenance.

David Preece, chair of Randwick Parish Council said: “We recognise the work that has been done by many local people over many years to create this lovely public space and we are delighted that we have found a way to ensure it is looked after for local people in the future.”

Mr Preece said the council aimed to continue the duel use of the site as an open space for public access and  wilder areas to allow a wildlife haven in a built-up area.

“Randwick Parish Council sees open public space as extremely important assets for the whole community. We are therefore delighted to receive Finns Way from the Community Land Trust and intend to ensure that it is managed for the enjoyment of everyone.”

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