Buckland Parish Council led initiatives
Village Pond and Green
In the centre of Buckland is ‘Buckland Village Green’, a registered village green that includes a pond and is identified in Surrey County Council’s listing of registered village greens as VG5. Whilst the Parish Council does not hold legal title to any land or buildings, Buckland Parish Council has, for many years, arranged for the open area of grass on Buckland Village Green to be cut and supports the local volunteer effort to maintain the village pond as an area of recreation for the benefit of all persons living in the locality.
Council adopted a 5 year plan covering the management of Buckland Village Pond and Green for the period 2022-2027 on 10th January 2022. The plan was prepared for Council by Surrey County Council’s Lead Officer for the Open Standing Water Habitat Action Plan within Surrey’s Biodiversity Action Plan and is compliant with Sections 102 & 103 of the Environment Act 2021.
As the reason for proposing a management plan back in 2011 was driven by the need to have regard to, and benefit, the biodiversity interests the 2011-2016 Pond and 2016 – 2021 Pond and Green management plans were compliant with Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.
Council reviews actions listed within the 2022 Plan each year to inform the agreed tasks to be undertaken at annual volunteer events and a post event review is taken into account during the Budget Process. Buckland Parish Council is very grateful to RACV, the Reigate Area Conservation Volunteers who lead our annual volunteer events which are so vital to our village pond.
A copy of the 2022 Plan can be obtained by contacting the Parish Clerk.
Footpath between Old Road and Bromley Field
On Saturday 22nd April 2023, 14 villagers gathered to help clear brambles growing in land alongside alongside the footpath the footpath that passes between Parklands and Priors Lees; and which many of you use to walk between Old Road and the cricket pitch behind the Red Lion.
We were supported by Steve Smallbone who collected the many “dumpy sacks” of brambles we managed to fill and kindly agreed to dispose of them for us. As planned, we focused on clearing brambles from around the young trees and, thanks to the commitment of the volunteers, managed to extract what we hope will be most of the bramble roots along the boundary of Priors Lee – approaching half of the length.
This Saturday morning event is seen as a first step to encouraging native wildflowers and plants to become established and any lessons we can learn from working on this pocket of land will hopefully help us to understand how to encourage a greater diversity of wild plants across the parish.
The young trees we can now all enjoy were planted as saplings by SES Water shortly after completion of the new Nutfield to Buckland water main. A section of the new pipe lies beneath this public footpath and preparation for its installation included the removal of mature trees from this verge. At the time of the project a significant number of local residents expressed a wish for the verge to be replanted and several indicated a willingness to volunteer to help to encourage a biodiverse habitat.
While conditions attached to the planning permission required SES Water to maintain the planted area for a short period after the saplings were planted this expired in 2019. So what next? Brambles are tenacious…..and while we hope our efforts have cleared most of the roots along the first property boundary it seems almost inevitable we will have missed a few.
Clearing the remaining bramble roots from the complete length of the footpath will need a follow up event …..if you have been inspired by Saturday’s efforts and would like to help to clear the remaining brambles please register your interest contact our Parish Clerk. Plans are being drawn up for a follow up event to be held next spring to build on this year’s event.
When Buckland Parish Council met in November 2020, Council resolved to “actively think about climate change in every action Council takes by Councillors incorporating consideration of climate change into their everyday thinking” rather than rush to launch any specific initiatives at this time and recorded “an interest in any future initiatives our neighbouring parishes and statutory councils might be championing with a climate change or environmental theme“.