Wellington Community Food part of funding bid for Wellington ‘Green Corridor’

Community groups have come together in Wellington aiming to create a Green Corridor of open space in permanent public ownership stretching nearly a mile from Tonedale Mill to Hilly Head and including the Basins waterways.

The plan builds on the purchase of Fox’s Field by Somerset West and Taunton district council in 2019 and will involve the acquisition of various  adjacent parcels of land currently in private ownership. The scheme is to be funded by a significant bid by SWT to the government’s Levelling Up fund.

“The levelling up bid can combine the needs of the Wellington community with the salvation of both natural and built assets such as the former Fox’s mills to the benefit of all,” said senior SWT officer Joe Wharton.
“The council has been working with the Wellington Mills community interest company (WMCIC), signing an agreement in late-January which demonstrated our “joint commitment to the heritage and environment of Wellington“.

Other community groups involved in the Green Corridor project are Transition Town Wellington, Wellington District Sports Federation, and Wellington Community Food, plus the town council.

“Key elements of the plan include additional allotments, nature conservation, youth sports pitches, forest gardens and a community farm,” explained Adam Lockyear,  leading for the community farm group. “Over the coming months each of the groups will be starting to engage everyone with an interest in forming these projects to take them forward over the coming years and help to create a resource for current residents and visitors and generations to come.”

Wellington Town Council

“The town council is very excited about the prospect of Wellington having this ambitious Green Corridor linking the northern and western outskirts of the town via the Basins, which are already at the heart of the community’s existing outdoor space. When you factor in the concepts of new sports facilities and the opportunity for growing more of our own food, it adds up to one of the most exciting things to happen in the town for many years,” said Mark Lithgow, Mayor and Chair of Wellington town council.

Wellington Community Food

“The way we produce and consume food is central to healthy people and places. A community farm for Wellington will provide the space for everyone to benefit from the positive physical and mental health opportunities growing together offers. The town already has a strong food culture, the farm will strengthen this and we look forward to working with other food businesses to make healthy food accessible to everyone. Collaborating with so many other community projects within a green corridor will help to create a resource for the town and generations to come and put active living, food production, nature and culture at the heart of the community. We look forward to engaging with any community groups, individuals, schools and others as we develop this exciting project,” said Adam Lockyear.

Wellington & District Sports Federation

‘The requirement for sports participation in Wellington, and the surrounding district, is growing, and is highlighting a lack of sports facilities, especially when we are looking at youth participation.

“The Wellington and District Sports Federation is excited to be a part of this community project. Our aim will be to supply additional junior sports pitches for Rugby, Football and Cricket together with additional areas for other outdoor sports and recreations such as BMX, running and others.

“We will aim to work with our member Clubs, and their governing bodies, as we look to pursue funding and grants to help make this a reality,” said Steve Coles, Chairman, Wellington & District Sports Federation.

Transition Town Wellington

“The Transition movement is all about finding practical ways to transform the way we live for a low-carbon, more sustainable and resilient future. The Wellington Green Corridor project is a fantastic example of how we can do just that. It’s all about connections: connecting people with nature, with the land itself, with our food growers, and with each other. It is an inspiring example of what Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement, calls ‘hope – with its sleeves rolled up’, and Transition Town Wellington is delighted to be a strong partner in helping to make this happen in our town,” said Anita Roy from TTW.

Wellington Mills Community Interest Company

“We’ve been working on the concept of a Green Corridor for several years now as a key part of making the area around the former mill buildings more accessible,” said Cllr Keith Wheatley, one of the CIC directors. “Improving non-vehicle accessibility from one end of the town to the other via improved footpaths and cycle routes along the corridor is a key element. We’ve already commissioned some possible designs to replace missing bridges, for instance”

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