Residents get behind action group fighting to save patch of woodland in Keynsham

November 05 2018

An action group says support is growing for its campaign to save a patch of abandoned woodland in Keynsham.

Around 30 people attended a public meeting on October 8 to share their thoughts on the town centre site off Bath Hill and to hear a presentation by members of the Fox and Hounds Lane Action Group (FAHLAG) on their vision to create a nature reserve.

Residents from across the town have already offered help with ground clearance and maintenance at the overgrown site as well as fundraising, and FAHLAG organisers said the meeting had given the project a “confidence boost”.

The site was put up for sale earlier this year but the group, with support from Keynsham Town Council, persuaded Bath and North East Somerset Council to withdraw it from the market for six months to give the community time to come up with a plan to turn it into a public space.

People at the meeting were asked to discuss four issues: what sort of green space the land should become; how to make it a safe place to visit; ideas for fundraising; and who should ultimately own the land.

FAHLAG chair Andy Wait said that the ideas put forward at the meeting would be invaluable in taking the project forward.

“Overall, it was abundantly clear that people wanted to preserve this little area of undisturbed woodland in the town centre and felt it had great potential to become a valuable educational resource for local schools,” he said.

“We now need to persuade B&NES not to put the land back on the market, but allow us sufficient time to turn this aspiration into reality.”

FAHLAG vice chair Margaret Maxwell said she was delighted with the public response. She said: “We now have the assurance that we have the backing of the wider community. In addition we are starting to attract sponsorship from local businesses. This means we can take a clear message back to B&NES about the strength of feeling that exists locally and that people are ready and willing to get involved.”

If anyone would like to become a “Friend” of FAHLAG, help with fundraising, take part in a working party to clear and restore the site or help in any way, Margaret or Andy would love to hear from you. They can be contacted by emailing fahlag18@gmail.com