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REC(22)80.01 Recreation Ground

RecreationRecreation Agendas & Papers Uploaded on November 22, 2022

       REC(22)80.01 

Melton Recreation Ground 

Dead hedging in Burkes Wood  

Volunteers have made a start to the dead hedging. Unfortunately, the dead hedge was partially deconstructed twice. However it has been rebuilt more robustly, with some additional wiring, in the hope this will discourage any further removal. 

Den  

Since the last Recreation Committee meeting, the large den in Burkes Wood has been taken down by persons unknown.  

Greenspace Management
The office is continuing to monitor the greenspace management contract. Unfortunately, the same issues continue to persist i.e. not attending when they should or attending but not carrying out the full range of work. The office will make enquires with other greenspace management companies.  

The annual hedge cut and ditch clearing took place last week. 

Pond  

The office has received a request for the pond to be cleared. The resident feels the pond is horribly overgrown and the attempts to limit the spread of invasive weeds and bullrush have had no effect. The resident has been informed that the Parish Council is unable to carry out any remedial works to the pond due to the invasive NZ pygmy weed.  

The expert advice received stated that no further work should be carried out, especially nothing that gives the pygmy weed more light or disturbs it, until it is eradicated. Eradication is highly unlikely. Planting has taken place around the pond to provide additional shading, to try and control / stop the spread of the weed. 

Trees on Hope Crescent  

The office has received a request from a resident on Hope Crescent asking for permission to remove two young sycamore trees, which are located on Parish Council land at the end of their garden.  The felling would be done by a qualified Tree Surgeon and the arisings would either be stacked or chipped. 

Bat Box Event
The SWT event took place at the Recreation Ground on Wednesday 26th October at 10am. It was very well received even though attendance numbers were low.  

A volunteer with a working at height license is required to install the bat boxes.  

There is still some money in the budget to run a 4th SWT event next year. 

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in the East Suffolk District. 

A proposal to renew 13 Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in the East Suffolk district has been received. The existing PSPOs, may be viewed at https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/environment/environmental-protection/animals/dog-control/public-space-protection-orders/  

A PSPO lasts for 3 years and the 13 PSPOs were made in 2020 and are due to expire in the new year. These proposals do not involve any alterations to the existing restrictions other than extending them by three years  

Members are asked if they wish to comment on the dog fouling Public Space Protection Order.

Community Orchard 

Transition Woodbridge have provided a proposal for a community orchard. 

SITE 

The ground is compacted by regular use and as it is so open it dries out quickly in hot weather.  The soil is heavy and liable to be very wet at times, as there is a row of springs along the foot of the hill.  Due to the water-logging, the area to the south of the new Pavilion is not really suitable for fruit trees.   

AIMS 

– to provide a place for people. 

  • an orchard provides a green space for contemplation, celebration, peace, order and beauty. 
  • trees are good for people, and an orchard has a particular sense of homely permanence. 

– to encourage reconnection to the natural world 

  • productive trees make obvious our connection to the land that grows our food, and to the plants that purify our air and help control our climate. 
  • mature and lightly used orchards can be good shelters for wildlife and provide nectar & food in season. 

– to encourage the production of truly local food 

  • an orchard will provide minimal calories, but maximum opportunities for increasing knowledge and understanding of our food supply. 
  • using a wide variety of cultivars will help maintain biodiversity. 

ASSESSMENT  

  1. First consideration should be to avoid interference with the present uses of the Playing Fields, especially the football pitches.  Care should also be taken not to block access for the vehicles coming to car boot sales, nor for emergency vehicle access to the new Pavilion.  Fruit trees should not be placed so as to drop excess fruit on cars, on foot paths, or on children’s play areas. 
  1. Trees planted should be on vigorous rootstocks, to make large (up to 6m diameter) mature trees.  (Note that the oak in the corner by the bund is already double that size, fruit trees are not as big).  These trees will need staking only for the first three years.  It would help them to establish if there is a metre wide circle of grass-suppressing mulch around them  – this also helps the mowing contractor avoid close encounters with the “cage”.  
  1. The trees will need a “cage” to minimise damage by wildlife, mowers, footballs and careless drivers. (see illustrations below).  The trees need to be checked annually for any restrictions from supports & ties etc.  The “cage” itself needs to be checked that it is still intact and doing its job! 
  1. We apply a one metre skirt of mulch to suppress competing weeds and maintain soil moisture.  The mulch should be topped up annually (without burying the bottom of the trunk) and kept weeded. 
  1. Watering: newly planted trees will need two buckets of water every week that they are in leaf for the first three years.   

POSSIBLE SITES FOR TREES 

  1. The screen-grab below shows the north part of the Playing Field – I regret to say it is not quite up to date with the building works.  The mature trees along the north boundary have been circled in green, to clarify how widely they spread.  The new trees by the car park and within the bund have been circled to show a mature size of about 15m.  (Note that a scale is included at the bottom right-hand corner of the map). 
  1. During the discussion with the Assistant Clerk, we only looked at the area to the north of the football pitches.  Possible sites for trees have been circle in purple, to show a mature spread of about 6m.   
  1. However, we felt some concern about whether this was the right place.  If the orchard could be sited nearer to the Pavilion, it would be far easier to water & it would be more accessible to users, especially children, so I have added in two more possible sites in yellow & orange.   
  1. One tree and its cage costs very roughly £50.  Transition would be happy to be responsible for selecting, ordering and planting the trees but would need a great deal of help to organise the essential watering rota.  
  2. It is quite possible to do any planting in stages, over several years, to spread the work & costs over time.  Please note that trees should be ordered in late summer for planting mid-winter. 

WYTFC Sunday Coffee Van 

The office had been made aware of a coffee van visiting the playing fields during the Sunday football. The committee are asked to consider the conflict if another pop-up café operates out of the Pavilion over the weekend.  

The office has sought clarification from WYTFC and have been advised that the coffee van is only in attendance while there is no other coffee offering. The office has been provided with a copy of the coffee van’s insurance certificates. The committee are asked to consider if they wish to impose hire charges on the visiting coffee van.  

Members are asked to: 

  • Note and comment on this report 
  • Consider if any further action could be taken regarding the pond 
  • Consider the request from the Hope Crescent resident 
  • Consider the proposal of a community orchard
  • Consider imposing hire charges relating the pop up coffee van 

 

Fliss Waters 

Assistant Clerk, Melton Parish Council 

November 2022