Residents have a ‘unique chance’ to save green space

October 04 2018
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Campaigners hoping to preserve a small area of woodland near Keynsham town centre say now is the time for local people to share their views on the site’s future.

The Fox and Hounds Lane Action Group (FAHLAG) is holding a public meeting at The Space, Market Walk, on Monday, October 8, at 7pm where residents are invited to have their say on how the patch of land could be used.

The site, at the junction of Bath Hill and Fox and Hounds Lane, was put up for auction in May this year but residents living nearby, with backing from Keynsham Town Council, persuaded Bath and North East Somerset Council to withdraw it from the market for six months to give them time to come up with a plan for the site. Legal restrictions will mean it can only be used as a nature reserve or open space.

In their argument against the sale, campaigners said the site needs urgent work to its walls and overgrown vegetation and feared that a developer might simply hold onto the land and allow it to fall into further disrepair.

Margaret Maxwell, one of the founders of FAHLAG, said now the community had a unique opportunity to create a green space for future generations. “Much of the land surrounding Keynsham is being swallowed up by new housing development, so people increasingly value these incidental green spaces,” she said.  

“This little area of woodland provides a haven for small animals, wild plants and invertebrates; it has the potential to provide a useful educational resource for local schools and a unique place for people to enjoy their natural surroundings, close to the town centre.”

FAHLAG chairman Andy Wait said he hoped that members of the community would be willing to become “friends” of the group or volunteer their time and skills to help turn the site into a public space. 

He added: “We also want to demonstrate to B&NES the level of support that exists within the community to save the land, particularly if we are to persuade the council not to put it back on the market in the near future.”

The group will also be looking at fundraising options to help with the work that will be needed.

The meeting on October 8 is open to all and anyone who would like more information about the project can contact Fox and Hounds Lane Action Group at fahlag18@gmail.com