Cockfield: Meadow plan looks tocreate wild space for children to play and camp

COUNCILLORS in a Suffolk village are in the last stages of purchasing a meadow they plan to turn into a wild space where children can camp and play games.

Members of Cockfield Parish Council are waiting on the completion of the sale of a two- acre plot owned by Suffolk County Council. The land, costing �18,000, is being paid for through community funds made available by Orwell Housing, which has built 20 homes in the village in recent years.

In addition, the council is buying an adjoining stretch of old raliway line – now used as a footpath – for �1,000, using money from county councillor Jeremy Pembroke’s locality budget.

The hope is the meadow can be developed by volunteers to provide a safe outside amenity for children and families in the village.

“We felt strongly that this would be the best use of the funds for the village,” said parish councillor Robin Morley.

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“Most purchases will depreciate over time but the land will be here forever. We don’t have many amenities at this end of the village, so this will be a great resource for nearby residents.”

The new plot is next to a nature area called Earls Meadow which the parish council took on in 2008 and has since been developed into a popular community area under the guidance of another parish councillor Rodney Williams.

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Altogether the parish council will now manage around eight acres of land in the area.

Mr Williams said: “Earls Meadow has come on really well with the help of working parties made up of volunteers from the village and school groups who come down to lend a hand.

“We are trying to get a balance between making the area a place that people can use but also a place where nature and wildlife can thrive.”

Recent projects include clearing riverbanks to create habitat for kingfishers and water voles, and planting a traditional fruit orchard.

Last week Cockfield was crowned 2012 Suffolk Village of the Year and the work at Earls Meadow was a key part of the village’s successful bid.

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