Michelle Tatton local Parish Councillor said “ To get the new Village Green we need to hear from anyone who has enjoyed activities like rambling, dog walking, picnics and games in the orchard for last 20 years. We are happy to help any residents needing assistance in completing the forms which will be sent to KCC who are responsible for creating new Village Greens.We need lots of forms and the faster we get them the sooner we can protect this special place. “
Local County Councillor Trudy Dean explained “Creating a new Village Green would give us the fastest and one of the best protection against the development of the orchard forever.”
Trudy is also giving £2,000 of her KCC Councillors Fund to pay for an ecological study of the site. The study will be completed over the next six months into birds, reptiles, insects and plant life. Trudy explained “ The survey will start this month managed by the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership who are experienced in protecting old orchard sites like this for wildlife. If it proves a good enough site, they will be applying for Local Nature Reserve status for the orchard which will give it even more protection.”
Roger Roud, Borough Councillor and local resident said “This site has fantastic bird life including doves, cuckoos, fieldfares and we think nightingales. Occasional deer have also been seen in the orchard. My kids played here and my family will be completing some of these forms to make sure other kids can enjoy it in future.”
The East Malling and Larkfield Parish Council Chairman David Thornewell said “ The Parish Council has been very successful in East Malling in creating new village greens at the King and Queen corner, Rocks Close, and most recently supporting residents in Four Acres in getting their new green. Two other greens have been created at Whimbrel Green and Willow Road in Larkfield. Getting the orchard designated as a Village Green will also strengthen our fight to get the Green Belt extended in the new Local Plan, to protect land between East and West Malling, of which the orchard is part.
If you can help by providing a witness statement contact Michelle Tatton for the necessary form, at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01732 521889.