Working with WDC

As well as our social events – see Recent Updates and Upcoming Events – we work with Warwick District Council as shown in our Aims.

We have opportunities to represent the views of friends of Abbey Fields and also to work with them to help maintain the Abbey Fields Environment. Many of the tasks that we have undertaken with WDC are already shown in these pages – see under Activities and Features of Abbey Fields above

The following items reflect some of the other work that we have completed :

17 Dec 2017 – Working Together Abbey Fields Site Visit

Present, Jon Holmes, Mathew Hammond, and David Pettifor. Toby Rodd

The monthly “walk round” by members from WDC and Friends of Abbey Fields was held directly after the very heavy snow fall earlier in the week. Despite the severity of the weather and the heavy usage by tobogganers the Fields looked in good condition.

The streams were in full spate giving a much needed flush through. In anticipation of the annual Duck Race on Boxing day some work was in hand but their use as an effective barrier to prevent children falling into the stream would not be compromised. Winter work was needed to remove brambles at the rear of the Lake footpath and this would depend on when a tractor could get onto the ground.

As in previous years leaves were mulched as part of the mowing works which enabled the mulch to be taken into the ground and act as a fertiliser for the grass and provide nutrients for insects.

On the south side of the stream adjacent to the swimming pool a tractor had got stuck in the soft ground resulting in  heavy rutting. English Heritage have agreed for the ground to be restored… again when the weather and ground condition permits.

In the Play areas work has been completed to replace the original matting with a composite of shredded rubber and adhesive. This looks a significantly better and should last a lot longer.

Maintenance of the play area apparatus continues as required; albeit slowly.

Work had again been carried out on the Mound where the base of a tree had been set alight.

A full tree inspection by WDC had been carried out; highlighted were cedars in the church yard , cherry tree at Foresters Rd and large oak to the rear of the Pool, fire damage.

No further work on Himalayan balsam was possible… this would have to be done 2018.

The Field s are more secure following the installation of new gates. However the gate leading to the swimming pool had to be left open during the day as the barrier was not working. ( hopefully a short term problem).

It was unlikely that additional bird, owl or bat boxes would be needed.

The path from Malthouse / High St to the church yard was being surveyed by WDC with a view to resurfacing

Part of the wall into the play area had cracked and work was in progress to refit the stonework.

KAAC had advised WDC of a surfeit of stone from the Tantara store which could be used to build a bench adjacent to the swimming pool. Ongoing.

DEP – FOAF

October 2017 – Major New Works to improve the footpath leading up to Malthouse Lane.

From the Friends of Abbey Fields Chairman:

We have received some good news that we would like to share with you all!

Many of you, we know, were somewhat alarmed at the prospect of major new works to improve the footpath leading up to Malthouse Lane. FOAF, alongside other societies were invited to express their views during the consultation process conducted by Andrew Jones, the Deputy Chief Executive of WDC.

We have now been officially notified by WDC that there will be no major change to the format or positioning of the path which was our major concern. At one point there were even suggestions of a need to construct a zigzag path! So it is with some relief that we can inform you that WDC has concluded that repairs to the path are all that is required with the path being restored to its original width and the surface improved. We are not sure when the work will be completed but we anticipate it will be next Spring.

Thank you for your interest and continued support.

21 Sept 2017 – Working Together Abbey Fields Site Visit

Present:  WDC – Jon Holmes and some of his team. FOAF – David Emsley

We walked down to the gate to see how the travellers had removed it to gain access – minimal damage, but they had removed it from its pintles. When we arrived there were some 6 caravans parked on the grass adjacent to the tennis courts.  We were advised that there had been some discussion regarding the gate (at Thickthorn) and by the time we completed the journey round Abbey Fields the travellers had departed leaving only a small amount of litter.

The trip through Abbey Fields was interesting seeing it from the perspective of the maintenance activities. Jon and his team appeared to notice every little item that was awry, noting those which needed attention and their urgency.  These included (but not limited to) a missing section of chain and some improperly attached chain near St Nicholas Church, ‘wear protection’ areas in front of benches, the way in which mowing/bramble clearance had been completed, the state of the water inflow culvert into the lake, windblown branches on the meadow, places where heavy vehicles had compacted/rutted the ground. Jon explained all the issues and how they should be rectified.

And at the same time he was explaining why dead trees were left standing with their suits of ivy that helped to provide ecological habitats but which were checked regularly to ensure that they were not in any danger of falling. I think I learned more about Abbey Fields and its habitats today than I have done in the whole of the time I have been living in Kenilworth.

I should also add that I have seen more bat and bird boxes than ever before and we even saw a little Owl at the entrance of one of them.

All in all I felt it to be a useful meeting identifying maintenance work that needs to be completed and an excellent lesson for me regarding many of the interesting features of Abbey Fields.

DE – FOAF