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Councils agree next steps for new country park

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The proposed country park.

PROGRESS has been made with plans for the new mini country park on the site of the former George Ward School playing fields, with a new name and a vision for the area agreed by the town and parish councils.

The two councils met earlier this month for the first time since the joint project was announced in October.

The new name ‘Shurnhold Fields’ was chosen as the most suitable name for the project, reflecting the area and the former name of the George Ward School. The group then  agreed on the following shared vision for the new mini country park:

“To provide a quiet, tranquil place for residents and visitors; To provide flood prevention measures through a small balancing pond; To provide all-weather footpaths with consideration to accessibility for all; To provide picnic tables, seating, signage and bins; To provide a wildflower area and encourage diverse wildlife habitat; To provide a car park for all users; To provide allotments; To provide a wooden trim trail; To provide a WWI tree memorial.”

“This will be something that will benefit all residents of Melksham and the surrounding area,” said Mayor cllr Adrienne Westbrook. “We’ve agreed to have the commercial arm of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust come and talk to us and there will be ecological surveys carried out to tell us more about the area.We can’t do anything with the land until we know what we have. The next meeting for the group is planned for early July.”

Chairman of Melksham Without Parish Council, cllr Richard Wood added, “It was a good meeting and I think we agreed unanimously on almost everything. The WWI tree memorial is a very important part of the plans, we need to plant these trees inNovember. So it’s important that we now getPersimmonHomes to sign over the land so we can move forward.”

More information about the joint project will be shared at the next Melksham Area Board meeting on Wednesday 6th June at Seend Community Centre at 7pm.

Residents are being encouraged to get involved with the project and attend future ‘Friends of Shurnhold Fields’ meetings. The group says, “Help shape this project and get your hands dirty, we would love to see you at one of our future meetings.” Please get in touch with either the town or parish council for more information. Clare Harris: clare.harris@melksham town.co.uk or Teresa Strange: clerk@melkshamwithout.co.uk

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