Saturday, 8 November 2008

Looking after our Green

Lively Green meeting
Such was the interest in Friday evening’s meeting about the village Green that the crib players needed to move into the smaller Memorial Room at the village hall. This made room for the sixty or so villagers who came along to have their say to sit down in the larger main hall.
An official record of the meeting was made and should be available for readers later but here are some personal thoughts and observations from the newsletter editor.
The present vice-chairman of the Old Buckenham Green Rights Proprietors (OBGRP) has done plenty of research on the ‘ownership’ of the Green and started the meeting by going through this and explaining the position of the OBGRP when it comes to looking after the Green.
Originally 39 people with houses around the Green were given the right to keep their animals on the Green (1792?). These Green Rights have since been handed down through families or sold and many Green Rights holders no longer live in the village. Very few of the present holders (there now appear to be 38 green rights, several people owning more than one) were at the meeting.
Some people also have responsibility for the trees on specific areas of the Green meaning that they should keep existing trees in good condition, replace dead ones and have to give permission for new trees to be planted within their area of responsibility.
Views on how the Green should be managed in future were expressed at the meeting and ranged widely from regularly-cut parkland to wild hay meadow. Most seemed in agreement that the cutting for hay this year had not been a success leaving the Green looking a mess [see photo with this item which was taken in November with cut hay still laying on the ground]. It is understood that the contract for the hay cutting comes up for renewal in 2009.
Other matters that were raised included car parking on some areas, the need for regular cutting of the natural footpaths across the Green, differences of view between the District Council’s tree officer and those having responsibility for particular trees, and even the possibility of having allotments on the Green itself.
With the Green being part of the village Conservation Area, there appeared to be many restrictions on what can be done. But there was a general feeling that the possibility of the Parish Council taking a positive interest in the management of the Green should be properly explored.
The AGM of the OBGRP would be in February 2009 and a follow up meeting for all those in the village was requested in the hope that some positive progress and decisions were made at this AGM.

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