Who we are:Woodhatch Green Spaces Preservation Group is a local group run by volunteers who work to promote and protect these much-loved local open spaces.
We originally formed in November 2020, in response to Reigate and Banstead Borough Council submitting a planning application to build a crematorium, with associated access road, car parking, and landscaping on New Pond Farm. The proposal would have resulted in the loss of allotments and relocation of the football pitches. Our members reviewed and responded to the planning application, which was voted against by Reigate and Banstead Planning Committee on 29 September 2021 (See News for further information).
Our members believe the whole site should continue to serve the community as it is, providing the opportunity for informal recreation, a safe place to exercise dogs, walk or run, and the opportunity to grow your own produce. This is one of 16 countryside sites within the borough where access to the countryside is available for free (see RBBC Countryside Guide). Our aim is to protect the site from inappropriate development, to protect the nature conservation purpose of the site, bio-diversity opportunities and recreational opportunities. We are committed and passionate about preserving the site for future generations to enjoy.
What we do:
We hope to enhance the ecological and bio-diversity value of the site, in addition to the leisure value.
We hope to offer a programme of activities that we can deliver to encourage local people and visitors to experience the rich variety of wildlife, flora and fauna that is available on the doorstep.
Details to follow soon!
About New Pond Farm:
New Pond Farm together with Felland Copse is a much loved place to walk and relax, a place of peace and tranquillity, and enjoy the wildlife and beauty of the countryside. The site provides an array of stunning views towards Reigate, Felland Copse and of course the spire at St John's Church.
New Pond Farm is included alongside Earlswood Common, Felland Copse, and Petridge Common as one of 16 valued countryside sites within the Borough.
New Pond Farm is a network of wet grassland fields that were farmed until the middle of the 20th century. Since then the site has been used for public recreation and nature conservation and the end result is the peaceful place that we have today. Part of the site has previously been used for grazing by cattle to encourage a more diverse display of wild flowers and as a result the site has been designated a Site of Nature Conservation Importance.
A small isolation hospital was built at New Pond Farm in the early 19th century to contain diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and tuberculosis. This was at a time when such diseases were common and correct treatment not fully understood.
(source: Reigate and Banstead BC Countryside Guide)
At the end of 1992 under the code name 'Operation Yellowhammer' Reigate Area Conservation Volunteers (RACV) won the BBC 'Going for Green Award' for the hedgerow replacement at New Pond Farm. The hedgerows were replaced following extensive research of historical maps to establish where hedgerows had once been on the site. The name 'Yellowhammer' is a nod to the little yellow bird so characteristic of our hedgerows. The site today continues to serve as a valuable community asset, in addition to being an important green corridor, linked with Earlswood Common, Felland Copse and Petridge Common.
The mosaic of fields at New Pond Farm was managed under a Countryside Stewardship Scheme from 1993 to 2013. Under the Stewardship Scheme the site was managed as permanent grassland, and resulted in an increase in bio-diversity and improved the amenity value for the local community.
In addition, New Pond Farm allotments have been on the site since at least 1934. New Pond Farm shares its name with the lower lake at Earlswood Lakes, historically named as New Pond.
Why not join us?
You can help protect our heritage and environment, support community projects, support research and conservation projects. If you would like to join Woodhatch Green Spaces Preservation Group or become a volunteer please get in touch via the contact form!.