Public Open Space Owned By Gillingham Town Council
Larger Areas of Public Open Spaces Owned by Gillingham Town Council
|Name of Public Open Space||Location/Access||Nearest Postcode||Size||Facilities||Description|
|Barnaby Meadow||Off Barnaby Mead||SP8 4AL||0.50 ha||
||Informal grassland. Access to the River Shreen. Quite site within a housing estate.|
|Chantry Fields||To the rear of Waitrose Supermarket||SP8 4UA||0.45 ha||
||Informal grassland. Confluence with the River Shreen and River Stour|
|Gyllas Green||Between Gyllas Way and Downsview||SP8 4RL||0.78 ha||
||Informal public open space between housing estates. Suitable for picnics and ball games. An ancient hedge with oak trees bisects this site.|
|Ham Farm||To the rear of Chaffinch Chase||SP8 4GT||2.52 ha||
||Mixture of informal grassland and parkland. The River Lodden runs through the site. There are countryside views towards Madjeston. Public Rights of Way go through the site.|
|Hawthorne Avenue||At the end of Hawthorne Avenue or via King Edmund Green||SP8 4ST||0.35 ha||
||A quiet site, ideal for watching wildlife. Good tree canopy and shady in summer.|
|Jubilee Fields||To the rear of Marlott Road||SP8 4FA||3.05 ha||
||Parkland style open space with views over the surrounding countryside. Access to the River Stour. Green Flag site.|
|Jubilee Fields||Off Yarlbury Wood Way||SP8 4GR||0.36 ha||
||Informal grassland on the edge of the River Stour. Green Flag Site.|
|King Edmund Green||Off Rolls Bridge||SP8 4DL||0.29||
||Grassed site suitable for informal recreation. Popular site for outdoor fitness. Tarred path links to other areas of open space, following the course of the River Stour through Rolls Bridge to Jubilee Fields|
|Lower Lodden Meadow||To the rear of Addison Close off New Road||SP8 4TZ||1.04 ha||
Informal grassland which connects with the Ham Farm open space via a footbridge over the River Lodden.
Trial wildflower meadow in progress.
|Rolls Bridge||Off Rolls Bridge Way||SP8 4BB||2.83 ha||
||Informal grassland with mown paths. Popular area for walkers and those with pushchairs and mobility scooters. The tarred path links with Jubilee Fields.|
|Shires Gate||To the rear of Horsefields or off Colesbrook Lane.||SP8 4UQ||1.70 ha||
||A quite site ideal for walking and watching wildlife. The site is next to Shreen Meadow.|
|Shreen Meadow||To the rear of Cherryfields/Swallowfields||SP8 4US||1.82 ha||
||Informal grassland with nature reserve (in progress). Views of the River Shreen, Bowridge Hill and Whitesheet Down|
|Town Meadow||Opposite High Street car park. Access to the rear of Waitrose Supermarket or off the High Street.||SP8 4BP||0.40 ha||
|Upper Lodden Meadow||To the rear of King John Avenue||SP8||2.25 ha||
||Grass site with newly planted and mature trees. Limited access to the River Lodden. A tarred path that bisects this site leads to a dead end.|
|Please note:||There is no designated car parking near these sites. The main pay and display car parks are located at Chantry Fields (SP8 4UA) and in the High Street (SP8 4AA). All sites are within easy walking distance from the town centre along flat tarred paths, which are suitable for pushchairs and mobility scooters. There are public toilets available at the High Street Car Park SP8 4AA. Refreshments are available in the town or nearby at RiversMeet Leisure Centre (SP8 4HX). The railway station is located near the centre of Town (SP8 4PZ). Gillingham is on the London Waterloo to Exeter line, 105 miles from London. There is some car parking at the station.|
Public Open Spaces
Gillingham Town Council is responsible for 27.66 hectares (68.35 acres) of public open space, ranging from grassed verges and planted areas to larger recreational areas. In addition, the Town Council is responsible for maintaining 2.68 hectares (6.60 acres) of grassed roadside verges on behalf of Dorset County Council. Up until March 2017, the larger open spaces were maintained under contract by Dorset Countryside. This partnership working will cease from April 2017 and the Town Council will maintain all its open spaces, following agreed management plans.
The Town Council employs six full time grounds staff and one full time town orderly responsible for emptying litter bins, cleaning public toilets and street cleansing within the town.
The workforce is highly qualified:
The Works Manager holds NVQ Horticulture Level III and is qualified to Health and Safety HABC Level III.
Three members of staff hold NVQ Horticulture Level II and all staff are qualified to Health and Safety HABC Level II.
Three members of staff hold a RoSPA Routine Play Area Inspection certificate.
Three members of staff hold a Chain Saw Certificate.
Three grounds staff hold a Pesticide Application Certificate (Note: pesticides are rarely used and are not used on public open spaces).
Three members of staff have attended a LANTRA Basic Tree Inspection Training.
At least two grounds men hold a valid First Aid at Work Certificate at any one time.
The Town Council endeavours to maintain its open spaces to a high standard. In 2016 the public open spaces known as Jubilee Fields, Rolls Bridge, King Edmund Green and Hawthorne Avenue were accredited with Green Flag status. The Green Flags are awarded by Keep Britain Tidy, the national environmental charity - www.greenflag.com. The award guarantees a well-kept, safe and pleasant public open space. The sites are inspected every year by an independent judge. It is hoped that these areas will retain their accreditation for 2017 and beyond.
Within the next two years the Town Council hopes that the public open spaces known as Upper Lodden, Lower Lodden and Ham Farm will be eligible for Green Flag accreditation. Meanwhile, the Town Council will be busy making sure that these areas reach the standard required. All sites have a written management plan, some of which are currently being revised, and are included within the Town Council’s Tree Condition Survey and Risk Management.
As well as on-going maintenance and capital works, the Town Council has instructed Dorset Wildlife Trust to conduct a wildlife and biodiversity survey of all its larger open spaces to see how these sites can be managed to improve a greater biodiversity. The aim of becoming a Bee Friendly Town in 2017 may well be possible.
Community Work Days will be arranged to help with the control of Himalayan Balsam in the River Stour during early and late summer. Himalayan Balsam is a very invasive plant but is not native, having been introduced to the British Isles in the 19th century. If left unchecked it will destroy the habitat of our native plants. All land owners who have riparian ownership responsibilities should check for Himalayan Balsam in the early summer and remove from the riverbank.
To keep our open spaces looking clean and tidy other Community Work Days will be arranged to help with specific tasks such as: path clearance, tree planting, attenuation pond clearing, weeding and bramble bashing. Details of Community Work Days will be advertised nearer the time.
Meanwhile, Gillingham Action for Nature (GANG), is a great local organisation in the Town that strives to keep Gillingham’s open spaces wildlife friendly and works closely with the Town Council to achieve this. You can contact Gillingham Action for Nature (GANG) via their web site: www.gang.btck.co.uk.