Fletton Field Campaign Refreshed As Elections Approach.

With North Northamptonshire Council elections in early May, a group which includes representatives of Oundle Town Council, Oundle School and environmental organisation Transition Oundle have reinvigorated the campaign to save Fletton Field from possible sale for development.

The Field is one of Oundle’s hidden gems - a precious 0.7 hectares of green space located just off the Glapthorn Road, tucked away behind two residential houses with Abbott House to the north and Oundle School Chapel to the south.

The campaign group fi rmly believe that this valuable space, which has been recognised as a Local Green Space and registered as an Asset of Community Value, belongs to Oundle.

Historically, Fletton Field is part of land that was sold to the Guardians of the Poor of the Oundle Union by the trustees of the late John William Smith (of John Smith’s Brewery) in 1899. Its use has changed with the needs of the town; fi rst for growing food for the poor; then as a hospital garden for the recovery of the sick; and more recently as a recreational ground for children.

“ Fletton Field was bought by the people of Oundle, for the people of Oundle,” explained Tony Robinson, Mayor of Oundle. “It is a part of the town’s cultural capital and contributes to the promotion and improvement of the social and environmental well-being of our town. It has always been used by the people of Oundle and we must keep this valuable space and manage it for public use.”

Surveys of local residents, taken before the pandemic, have shown that people would like the Field to provide the following:

• allotments and/or a community garden

• community orchard/mini forest & wild fl ower areas

• garden area with seating and hard pathway to allow for pushchair/ wheelchair access

• scout/brownie/multi use hut

• some open space for small outdoor events and education sessions

• overfl ow car parking – to be used when larger events are running in the town.

A draft ‘vision’ for the Field has been drawn up, based on these fi ndings (see above).

“Most of the open space within Oundle’s boundaries is privately owned and public access to it is increasingly limited. Compared to other local towns of its size, Oundle has much less publicly accessible green space and losing Fletton Field would reduce it by a further 40%,” said Camilla Sherwin, leader of the campaign.

“The COVID pandemic has reminded us of the value of green space - for exercise and fresh air, for health and well-being, and once it has disappeared, getting it back is nearly impossible. We have created a vision for the Field, based on public survey, and we want to see it become a reality”.

Those running for election to North Northamptonshire Council are being asked to support this opportunity to create an amenity that will benefi t local people. Each and every Oundle voter can help to save Fletton Field by voting for the Councillors who support the campaign when they go to the polls on Thursday 6t h May.

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