The MP for Bath, Wera Hobhouse, has praised the volunteers who have transformed Lyncombe Hill Fields, 10 acres of green space adjacent to Alexandra Park and Beechen Cliff School.
Now owned by Bath & North East Somerset Council, the site was bought by the city of Bath as public open space in 1938, but until 2018 was let out to various tenants for the grazing of horses and other animals.
Since September 2020, the land has been managed under licence by the Friends of Lyncombe Hill Fields, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (FLHF).
The three unpaid company directors, Maurice Tennenhaus, Anita Breeze and Chris Kinchin-Smith, all live locally.
The company is sponsored by the Widcombe Association, Greenway Lane Social Committee, Greenway Lane Area Residents’ Forum and Bear Flat Residents’ Association, with additional support from the Friends of Alexandra Park and from Bathscape Partnership.
During a recent visit, MP Wera Hobhouse said she was impressed by the group’s dedication to improving the site.
She said: “This project is the perfect example of local people coming together to preserve and enhance their natural environment.
“With support from Widcombe and Lyncombe ward councillors Alison Born and Winston Duguid, B&NES Council and the Bathscape Scheme and others, this initiative is working wonders.
“Please visit this beautiful green space to enjoy it for yourself. My warmest congratulations to the energetic team led by Anita, Maurice and Chris.”
Friends of Lyncombe Hill Fields Director Maurice Tennenhaus added: “It was a pleasure to be able to show Wera all the improvements our volunteers have made so far, and to tell her about our plans for the future of this site.
“So far, our volunteers have, amongst other things, planted 2,140 saplings (17 native species), resurfaced paths, built a bug hotel, cleared 500 sq m of invasive brambles to enable the siting of two tiny forests and mowed five acres of pasture to promote wildflower growth.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, our green spaces have become even more vital to our wellbeing.
“Our volunteers tell us how much they value the time they spend here, and it’s gratifying to see more and more visitors taking advantage of this space.”
Widcombe and Lyncombe Ward Councillor Winston Duguid said: “My ward council colleague Cllr Alison Born and I want to praise the team leading the Friends of Lyncombe Hill Fields.
“They are doing an excellent job. Thanks to their robust business plan, it has made it much easier to make the case for support to B&NES Council and other supporters.
“It’s a win, win, win in terms of improvements to the environment and ecology, for the Council in terms of the Friends’ excellent stewardship, and for volunteers in making a real difference in helping safeguard the fields for the community.”
Bathscape Partnership Manager Dan Merrett said: “Lyncombe Hill Fields is a real success story for everyone involved, including of course the public who benefit from this green landscape in our city.
“Bathscape aims to ensure that Bath and its landscape are more recognised, better managed and actively enjoyed by all. Bathscape Partnership is proud to support this thriving community venture.”