The first field in Kent

Parish council protects living legacy for their community

One woman’s dedication to her local community area has resulted in the protection of open space for future generations to enjoy.

Parish clerk Margaret Richards of Wingham Village in Kent has spent over twenty five years working for Wingham Council. Recently she has helped the Parish Council to be the first Kent landowner to dedicate permanent recreational space for protection through the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge.

Nestled on the edge of the village, Wingham Recreation Ground is a vital part of village life, providing a focus for sport, games and activities and fun for all ages. Signing it up to the Fields Challenge has created a living legacy for HM the Queen and a green reminder of Mrs Richards’ work for the local area.

Landowners across the country are encouraged to play their part in safeguarding outdoor space in conjunction with Fields in Trust. Supported by the Duke of Cambridge’s patronage, Fields in Trust’s Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge aims to protect 2,012 open spaces as a tangible legacy for both HM THE Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics. The dedication will provide communities across the country with a fantastic way to engage with these two historic events at a local level.

“I congratulate Wingham Parish Council for being the first of what I hope will be many others in Kent to sign up to the Fields Challenge as part of this national tribute to Her Majesty. Physical activity is of obvious importance to the health of our communities and this scheme enables people of all ages to enjoy the benefits of long-term protection for recreational spaces,” Viscount De L’Isle, Lord-Lieutenant designate and The Queen’s representative in the County, said.

“Saving outdoor space is crucial for the health of our communities and I am delighted that Mrs Richards and Wingham Parish Council are leading the way. By protecting this area under the QEII Fields Challenge, the Council has shown how much they value their community and its future,” Alison Moore-Gwyn, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust, said.

“I am extremely proud that we are the first parish in Kent to be awarded this unique status. It enables us to protect our recreation ground forever, when so many open spaces are being sold off. The grounds and facilities been improved recently which has raised the profile of the recreation ground. It is now regarded as being one of the best in the area. This dedication will be a permanent reminder for the village of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee,” Bryan Curtis, Wingham Parish Chairman, said.


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