LNR update and planning news
The council's decision to refuse the petition back in March 2015 was disappointing but not unexpected, even though Old Down and Beggarwood received approval from English Nature in 2012. The petition was presented in autumn 2014. It had more than 2000 signatures
The LNR declaration for Beggarwood was agreed in October 2017. The management plan has been updated in consultation with us and the boundaries agreed so that the play area, allotments and community hall are not included.
A country park for us!
Construction is still taking place on Kennel Farm (now Longacre) adjacent to Old Down so the footfall has increased.
We would argue that Old Down should be extended west out through open countryside, creating a large country park linked through the Oakley Strategic Gap to the small Country Park proposed at Wootton St Lawrence.The Local Plan allows for strategic gap which contains many of the Oakley woodlands. The Oakley neighbourhood plan suggests that they would welcome an increased area of natural green space linking them to the new country park proposed for Manydown. The Kempshott Community plan group are collecting evidence that this would be welcome to Kempshott residents too. Many people from Beggarwood and Hatch Warren access the countryside by walking through the two parks to the fields and woodland beyond. We want to ensure that this continues.
Download a presentation (90 sec. download) of the changes brought about on Old Down since the wildlife group started work in 2007. The presentation will run automatically. We have donated about 16,000 hours of our time to this project. Old Down is unique for wildflowers in a public open space in Basingstoke & Deane. It also has outstanding views across the countryside towards the AONB.