Status of ‘Green and Environmentally friendly’ public areas in Preston parish as of 25th November 2020

Some residents have expressed a preference for the Parish Council to allocate additional land in the parish for environmental purposes. As a background to this, the working party felt it would be helpful for residents to be fully aware of the ‘green’ areas that already exist in Preston parish and are open the public.

1. Preston parish council secured the ownership of Robinson meadow (1.2 acres) in Mill Lane, Preston. Advice was taken from a local expert in order to ensure that it was laid out and planted up properly. It is now maintained in accordance with that advice.

2. The Parish council also secured the use of Church Field in Elmstone. The council doesn’t own it but due to an arrangement with Goathams, local residents will have the use of it while Goathams own the farm. The Parish council again took advice from the same local expert and the field was planted out and maintained it in accordance with that advice. Residents may have noted that a good part of this area is left unmowed for most of the year. The intention being to create a wildlife meadow. The arrangement with Goathams is that the Parish Council decides how it should be used and Goathams workforce maintains it in accordance with that advice.

3. Also arranged with Goathams is an extension of the TROT scheme over Elmstone Court Land. TROT (Toll Rides Off-road Trust) is a charitable trust dedicated to providing members with an extensive network of horse riding and carriage-driving routes on privately owned, Forestry England & Woodland Trust land.

4. The Parish council has also arranged with Goathams for the wildlife corridor to be maintained through the reed beds to the rear of How Wood Cottage and all the way down to Wet Wood.

5. Although the PC is not directly involved, the former Salvatori industrial site was required to be remediated to meadowland and maintained with public access. The remedial work has been carried out, but the maintenance and public access seems to have stalled. The Parish Council is currently following the matter up with Dover District Council to ensure that the terms of the planning conditions are being fully complied with.

6. Many parish residents will be aware of the large and versatile recreation ground near to Preston primary school. The sizeable land includes a play area for children and has a square of land that is used as a cricket pitch. The park is now installed with regulation size goalposts for football practice and any competitive matches. Preston Primary School also has access to it throughout the year for PE classes and for their sports day and fetes.

7. The Parish Council has taken up an initiatives suggested by the Woodlands Trust and arranged for large numbers of native trees to be planted throughout the parish.

8. A number of public footpaths are accessible to the public within Preston parish. They also connect up with footpaths that access nearby parishes. Preston parish does have footpath wardens who can be contacted by writing to Jean Swan clerk of the Parish Council
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