Open Space Strategy submission

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Posted by Coordinator | Posted in General Information | Posted on 17-11-2009

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Submitted 16 Nov 09 – Closing Date

Friends of Moneyhole response to the 2009 Public Consultation on Open Space Strategy

Our summary points are:

Section 1 Introduction – Why Open Spaces are important. The Social and Recreation definitions are aligned to the inclusive aims of the Friends of Moneyhole (FoM). We would like the Council to include FoM’s Inclusive aim for all residents not just the young. The group above 16 years old, senior and non-sporting residents are not provided for in this document.

2 Outdoor Sports Facility – Moneyhole Lane Park is classified as an Outdoor Sports Facility. The rationale is for this assessment is not transparent and does not have all residents’ nor FoM’s support.

There are a large group of park users who do not use this as a sports facility – dog walkers, strollers, families out for picnics and senior residents. Hence the classification of Moneyhole Lane Park as an Outdoor Sports Facility is of concern to residents and park users, it implies non-sporting users are not welcome nor will they be catered for.  Investment in facilities for these groups should be looked into.

3 Arboretum – Moneyhole was created with an Arboretum which enhances this delightful Country Park enjoyed by many. This is an opportunity to develop the Moneyhole Arboretum further and improve the range of specimen trees. Neglect has damaged many lovely trees in Moneyhole.

Moneyhole Park has a 1 mile Nature Trail Walk around its perimeter. This was upgraded to an all season walk in July 09 through the efforts of the FoM volunteers.

An acknowledgment of the existence of the Moneyhole Arboretum and Nature Trail walk ( plus FoM efforts) would have been welcomed.

4 The lack of a tree strategy to maintain Moneyhole’s arboretum and the trees along the Nature Trail is baffling and deemed a severe oversight. The years of neglect have taken their toll and specific provision for maintenance is necessary.

The tree strategy can also be expanded to planting of more edible fruit trees like some London and other enlightened authorities. We have many ornamental trees. Edible fruit trees will encourage more residents to use parks and walks. More people are aware of the beautiful cherry plums in Panshanger verges and park this year. Local wildlife will benefit most. Apples, pears and cherry trees will be welcome.

5 Green Corridor – Green Lane Bridleway (POW Path) – This links Rolls Woods and Blackthorn Woods to Moneyhole Park through to Brichall Woods and Henry Woods. An inclusion of this vital green corridor for maintenance and the 13 week litter cycle are important. This cannot be allowed to fall between the cracks of ownership and responsibilities. This is also a piece of local WWII history. FoM volunteers exposed a small section of this along the Nature Trail this summer.

6 Partnerships with Lafarge - An audit of the private woods adjoining open spaces is missing as is the working partnership with Larfarge. Users of open spaces enter these woods for enjoyment directly or via the Green Lane POW path. The maintenance of these wonderful woods should be included especially as they extend from the park on two sides. Joint exploration of the archaeology of the site might be of interest as well as the development of plans for the encouragement of biodiversity in the area.

7 Tree and shrub maintenance – What mechanism is in place to ensure Finesse and Serco have the correct expertise to maintain the trees and shrubs in and around the district? Some of the work seen to date is of concern.

8 Flawed and unbalanced paper – Moneyhole only merited two glancing mentions (Page 7 & 23) Whilst deemed strategic on Page 23, there is no further mention of Moneyhole and with no detailed survey of the park, this Open Space Strategy is unbalanced and flawed.

9 Lack of consultation – Compilation of this Open Space Strategy without consultation with the FoM group and residents undermined its assessments, proposals and objectivity.

TK Choo
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