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Bennett's Recreation ground


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Good Morning forum users.


Yesterday (Friday 07-05-2011) I went for my usual walk from my house in Orford to Bennett's recreation ground.


Has anybody noticed the difference?


The Orford side of the Rec, what used to be a railway line has now been completely ring fenced by a 20 ft fence. This is a large area, which includes the old railway line, 1 rugby pitch and the land that used to be occupied by Thomas Locker social club.


Nearly 2 years ago all the trees and wildlife were lost in that area when all the trees were ripped up and burnt. There was a little fuss made then with locals and then the council said there was nothing they could do as apparently the land is privately owned. Now there are signs saying no tress pass and that prosecutions are in place. :(


I am not sure what is going on here but it seems a great shame that the public can no-longer use that land and it has now made it a much bigger walk to the Recreation ground from the Orford side.


I have been walking/running through there for as long as I can remember and I will miss it. But living less then 50 yards from the entrance, my neighbours nor me no what is happening or what if anything is going to be built there.


Any body know anything on the matter? And shed some light on it please.

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Wireboy the landowner is setting up allotments etc there. I noticed that he had blocked it off on Wednesday when I went past on the bus and the digger that had been brought in to move mounds of earth.


I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has walked the path that he is now blocking off. I'm sure that like you and your neighbours many residents have used this for recreation and short cuts etc.


As path warden for the area I would like you and other posters to PM me your details so that we can find out how many like minded people there are who have used this facility for the last few decades and who are concerned that this facility may be lost for ever :oops:


I myself have used it for 30years as a training course for running especially cross country because of its ideal environment and with my Chair of Warrington Nature Conservation hat on I don't want this access restricted.

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If you don't want access restricted you will have to lodge an objection straight away or they will get away with it! You can build up support for your objection but get yours in now. If you take a couple of months to get names together they will put forward the case that restricted access wasn't noticed for some time - therefore it was only used for very occasional access and thus not worth protecting.

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If it isn't a recognised footpath/right of way I would imagine that the land owner can do what he wants and protests will be pointless. The idea of allotments sounds good to me, people will have to walk a bit further that's all.

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How long have they owned it for as I always thought the council owned it... no point in objecting if it it's the 'F's eh 8)


Anyway Geoff... if the land owner is setting up allotments what was the point in the public consultation to see what changes residents would have liked to see at Bennett?s Recreation Ground? It must have been publicly owned/leased then or what was the point in having a consultation?


It started in sept 2009 and the results were reported in the WG in July 2010.


Partners including the Mersey Forest, Environment Agency, Stronger Together all presented ideas to the community with emphasis placed on protecting wildlife etc etc.


Schools and residents submitted their opinions too at an open day in April 2010 at Fearnhead Cross Community Centre.


And the results and documents were submitted in June 2010 to Poulton with Fearnheads parish council meeting, who managed the site (chairman Clr Colin Oliver) by the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit (GMEU) which contained 5 key area's of improvements such as better pathways, parking, nature conservation, site safety and accessibility and the promotion of the heritage of Bennett?s Rec.


A potential stumbling block for the development is the bidding war currently ongoing to fund it.


At the time it said there was a bidding war over who was going to fund it all which including the Heritage Lottery but only 80 per cent of the cash needed was on offer.


So after all that....


Wireboy... give Poulton with Fearnheads parish council or the local borough councillor for that area a ring they should know :wink::lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update for those who want to know. :)


After speaking to the council there seems to be a lot of confusion as to what is happening on site.


The landowner applied for a fishery lake in 2007 but that expired in August 2010. The landowner then applied for allotments but then he took the plan out.


Now the owner is just ripping up the land and erecting big fences and mounds to stop access.


The council themselves do not know why the landowner is doing this.


The council say that as long as the paths have been used as rights of way for 20 years or more (which they have) he can be stopped but it looks like it will go on for some time before a resolution is sought.


Rather concerning as what has the landowner got planned for the site? :shock:


Rights of access forms can be obtained by the council for us to fill in if we are regular walkers on the paths and have been for at least 20 years.


Seems a shame but I fear this land is going to be lost forever to the general public. :(

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After speaking to the council there seems to be a lot of confusion as to what is happening on site.
Nothing new there then :wink:


Do you actually know who owns the land now then ? Did it used to be leased from them when the parish council had responsibility for it ?


Looking on the brighter side... if the owner is who Agamemnon1 suggested then sooner or later they may build houses on it so a 'right of access' will still exist as people will still be able to walk through :?

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Dizzy the land in question is NOT on Bennet's Recreation Ground and will NOT impact directly on the work already commissioned in association with the Parish Council etc.


This piece of land is separate and may or may not include Ryland's 2nd rugby pitch where my son used to play. The entrance to the rugby pitch was blocked off last week with trees but they have now been removed and training did take place this week.


The landowner did have plans for allotments and a fishery in the past but abandoned them. I believe that because of recent changes in the law the landowner can now go ahead with allotments without permission - it is his land, hence the activity.


However as Sha states above the land owner can be challenged and an application made for definitive status by anyone/group who have used the paths through his land over the last 20 years or so.

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Sorry for my confusion and pointless posts Geoff but as the topic is called 'Benets Recreation Gound'... and the original question was about 'Bennets Recreation Ground'... you can see why I thought you were all talking about 'Bennets Recreation Ground' :oops::lol::lol::wink:


I shall silence myself on the subject now as I clearly have no idea where you are talking about :lol: appologies

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The land to the left of the Birchwood Way where it meets Orford Road for about the last 100 meters or so before the T junction with the traffic lights. The area stretches from Birchwood Way to the Railway line. From Orford Road end it stretches as far as the green footbridge and to the right of the substation thingy.


This is only an approximate description - get your boots on and have a nose around. :D

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:roll:first reply ..... like water of a ducks back Peter :P


second reply.... more money in a fishery than an allotment but like you say far more in a housing develolpment/shop/flats/etc. All very odd and I'm sure whatever is going on (wherever it is and whever is doing it ) will soon become clear... as mud


PS yep I noticed he was still alive yesterday :lol: I missed him :D

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