OLD BRIDGE REOPENS

We are pleased to announce that the Old Bridge, that partially collapsed in January 2020, has been fully repaired and is now open to the public again. This bridge forms an integral part of most people’s route around the fields and was also designed to take the weight of the hay cutting machinery and any equipment required for maintenance of the Arch.

 

 

The work was carried out very efficiently by a local firm, MJB Contracts, who we would thoroughly recommend.

 

 

 

It has taken rather longer than we hoped to get the repair completed, for which we apologise, but it takes time to raise the funds and there was also a pandemic that got in the way. The work was made possible due to the generous donations made to our fund by many local people and topped up by the Parish Council, we would sincerely like to thank you all.

 

 

 

We hope you like being able to make full use of the fields again and enjoy all the wild flowers before the hay cut in July.

 

GREEN FLAG AWARD 2020

We are delighted to announce that in spite of the challenging circumstances this year Priory Fields has, for the tenth year running, been awarded the Green Flag Award, the international benchmark of quality for parks and green spaces. You will see the flag flying from the flagpole at the entrance to the fields. As you can see from the full report below we received the highest grade in every section bar one. The judging is usually carried out in June/July when the fields are looking their best but due to the restrictions this year the unannounced inspection was delayed until the end of October. The comment about the muddy paths is something we are constantly aware of and will do more to improve on next year.

The aim of the Friends who manage and develop the fields is to create a pleasant tranquil space for the benefit of the local community and to provide a haven for wildlife of all forms.

If you approve of what we are doing and would like to join us, or if you would like to make any comments, please contact us.

You can now also donate at PRIORY VILLAGE STORES

PLEASE HELP FUND THE REBUILDING OF THE OLD BRIDGE

As regular visitors to the fields will be aware, the Old Bridge leading from the West Water Meadow to the Monument Field, suffered a partial collapse in January requiring a total closure of the bridge for safety reasons.

This bridge, which was probably installed over fifty years ago, forms a vital access for hay cropping equipment and for maintenance to the Arch should it be necessary. Apart from the access route for this equipment, which seems to get heavier every year, it also forms a vital part of the network of pathways around the fields and its closure cuts off a circular route popular with visitors.

It is therefore vital that repairs are carried out at the earliest opportunity, but unfortunately the lockdown has delayed matters rather. However we now have several quotes, the lowest being just over £10,000.  Our normal fundraising efforts are just enough to finance the annual expenses of maintaining the fields i.e. fuel and repairs to the equipment and general structures around the fields.

We are therefore now launching a Just Giving page with a target of £10,000 in the hope that those who regularly or occasionally enjoy the pleasures of walking the fields may donate towards this work.

If you wish to make a donation, however big or small, please scan the QR code or follow the link below. Your donation will help us get the fields back to normal as soon as possible.

 

 

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/priory-fields

 

 

THANK YOU

AGM on 24 APRIL POSTPONED

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Priory Fields which forms an important fixture in our calendar has regrettably been POSTPONED until later in the year. We had booked an interesting speaker in Graham Mee from the RSPB who was going to give a talk about the birdlife of this part of Essex. We sincerely hope that he will able to fit in with the new date. Once the current situation improves we shall publicise full details.

In the mean time there is plenty of space to walk around the fields and keep a reasonable distance from others. There is plenty of new growth and flowers to raise the spirits, so enjoy your walk and keep safe.

 

 

QUIZ NIGHT CANCELLED

After careful consideration and following Government guidelines the Friends committee has reluctantly decided to cancel the forthcoming Quiz Night. As this is such an important fundraiser for us we sincerely hope that we will be able to reschedule it later in the year, watch this space.

In the meantime stay safe and look out for each other.

Quiz Night

 

The total funding with which the Friends maintain and develop Priory Fields comes solely from our two annual fundraising events which are the Christmas Raffle and the Quiz Night.

This year, added to our normal expenses, we have been saddled with the unexpected cost of having to rebuild the Old Bridge that was built by the farmer many decades ago and has now partially collapsed. We are still awaiting quotes but it will severely deplete our limited funds so:

PLEASE SEE THE FULL ADVERT AND BOOK A TABLE FOR YOUR TEAM

This is always a fun evening so come along, join in the raffle, which always has great prizes, and you may even win the prize for the best quiz team.

 

We had another fabulous Christmas Raffle this year at Priory Primary School after carols on the green. We would like to give a huge hearty thank you to all who donated such fabulous gifts including Kellys (a turkey voucher), Polish Me Pretty, Priory Pet Supplies and many others including committee members who personally bought and donated a number of gifts.

We would also like to thank everyone who bought tickets and participated in making the event such a huge success.

Green Flag Award

We are very proud to announce that Priory Fields has been given the Green Flag Award for the eighth consecutive year.  This is a great reward for the dedicated volunteers who work both on the fields and behind the scenes. The judges assessment gave a top grade in every category which included Environmental management, Safety, Community Involvement and Landscape and Heritage. The final comment was “A very well cared for site, the work of which is a credit to the Friends of Priory Fields”

Children’s Parties on Priory Fields

If you would like to hold a children’s party on Priory Fields this summer please see our “Events” page for details.