Haydon Wick Council approach is to protect the small amount of open space left in the Parish, from further development. In line with this the Council has purchased the last remaining large area of open land in the Parish at Tadpole Bridge. This is to be used for community use and may enable the creation of additional leisure gardens.
At this time, the Parish manages King George Playing Field in the old village (behind the Fox and Hounds pub) Trent Road Playing Field in Greenmeadow,(behind the Shield and Dagger pub) and Clary Road Field on Haydonleigh Drive.
The Council encourages sport and leisure and youth football teams use the latter two facilities above. Enquiries for further use by local community groups is welcomed.
There are three important areas of parkland within the Parish:
- Seven Fields Nature Reserve
- Cliffords Meadow, an SSI environment
- Mouldon Hill Country Park
Seven Fields Local Nature Reserve
Seven Fields is rich in wildlife and has some of the best wildflower meadows in Wiltshire, with ancient hedgerows, stream and a magnificent Wild Service Tree and Penhill Copse (ancient woodland). It received a Local Nature Reserve Designation in 1995.
The reserve is situated in North Swindon, in a valley surrounded by the communities of Penhill, Greenmeadow, Haydon Wick, Abbey Meads, Whitworth and close to Haydon View, Pinehurst, and Rodbourne Cheney and is well used for walking, cycling and the quiet enjoyment of nature Each year the Borough, who own the land – make provision for the taking of the hay to maintain the herb rich neutral meadows – the most important bit of management for the preservation of the wildflower meadows. The Reserve is open to all at all times, green paths are cut to provide you with easier walking, dogs are welcome, there is a small car park at Kennet Ave Greenmeadow. It is not far from many bus routes.
To find out about its biodiversity and more about Seven Fields Nature reserve click here
Just a short walk from Thamesdown Drive at Junction 9, in the settlement of Oakhurst lies Clifford Meadow. The field retains its medieval feature of ridge and furrow, has never been ploughed and forms part of this country’s rapidly diminishing low meadow land.
As it has never been ploughed or fertilised, so it has become rich in rare species and is home to Anacamptis morio a rare protected species of Orchid family Orchidaceae.
To preserve species there is no access and no right of entry to this land
Mouldon Hill Country Park
Mouldon Hill Country Park is owned by the Borough Council. The Parish Council is keen to develop further this resource and are engaged in discussions with all the interested parties to move this forward. Although the resources available are limited there is a commitment from all parties to continue with the improvements at Mouldon Hill. A number of issues have been raised including the design of the new railway station & the amount of land required, further tree planting, footpath development and signage, crossings for the railway, sport provision and the role Mouldon Hill will play in the long term ‘Cricklade Country Way’ project.
Mouldon Hill Country Park was a key ingredient of the Cricklade Way Rural Corridor project, which, in 2008, was turned down for £25million Big Lottery Fund Grant. When complete, the goal was to reopen the Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal, revive a bygone steam railway, and link up a national cycle trail as well as creating a 50 hectare country park between the two towns.
The Council is proposing to create a comprehensive walk/cycleway throughout the Parish and first route will run from Whitworth Road, through Pond Street, Haydon End and into Mouldon Hill Park. This will be the start of a network of foot and cycle ways feeding into the Cricklade Way Project integrating Oakhurst and the new Tadpole Village Estate into a North Swindon green leisure corridor.