How the Weaverham Trust Acquired Bottom Pitch
On 23 August 2012, on a piece of land adjacent to Owley Wood, a “For Sale by Auction” sign was erected,causing a great deal of concern, as it was generally understood this land was already owned by the village.The Trust was approached by concerned villagers and an emergency meeting was arranged involving numerous parties in order to see who could help. The auction was being held on 6th September so the Trust had a matter of a few days to find support and come up with a potential solution in time.
With the support of the CWAC councillors, who pledged £2,500 from their Members Budgets, £5,000 from The Weaverham Trust and a loan from a generous village resident, the Trust managed to raise over £16,000 in total and was successful in acquiring the land at the auction. If this had failed the land would inevitably been acquired by a property developer. As a result, Weaverham Trust has ensured that the land that is known as Bottom Pitch Meadow will remain available for the use and enjoyment of both Weaverham residents and visitors in perpetuity.It is believed that Bottom Pitch Meadow is the first Public park opened in Cheshire since 1918.
Why Bottom Pitch?
This area of land has always been known as Bottom Pitch.When ICI built houses in the area, they provided a social club and bowling green for the adults but there was nothing obvious for the children. The land at the bottom of the hill was then used as a football and cricket pitch – and so became known as Bottom Pitch! The land continues to this day to be used by locals and visitors from outside the area and is a popular destination for dog walkers and for children to play on.
Since the land was acquired by the Trust, a great deal of work has been undertaken including the laying of 800 metres of hedge, the installation of both kissing and field gates, the planting of 100 new saplings and helpful signage. Much has also been done to encourage wildlife, including the installation of both bat and bird boxes. Tree surveys are regularly undertaken and any which are found to be in a dangerous state are either lopped or felled. Sadly, this month, it was discovered that vandals had set fire to one of the wooden signs, so our need for further maintenance continues.
Thanks & Gratitude
The Trust would not be able to continue to look after and maintain the land at Bottom Pitch Meadow without the continued support of members of the Trust, the Friends of Owley Wood, the 3 Borough Councillors, the Groundwork (Saltscape Project Team) and the Agenda 21 Committee.We continue to be grateful to the small dedicated team of members, who turn up every Thursday to maintain the site and bring their own tools to assist with grass and hedge cutting, tree trimming and any other maintenance that is needed.