Friday 19 July 2019

Works to Mapledurham Playing Fields

SE towards poplars & Hewett Avenue
View west towards St Peter's Avenue
Reading Borough Council's Landscape Plan works to improve the drainage and durability of Mapledurham Playing Fields' pitches are progressing.

A large portion of the pitch area is cordoned off for the works with heras fencing.

Following complaints from two runners I managed to get the positioning of the heras fencing altered to allow joggers access around the perimeter of the fields.

Although it is narrow in three places, at least now it is possible to avoid having to go into the wooded area with its tripping hazards for joggers.

Parallel with Chazey Road looking east
Photo Thursday evening 
I am currently trying to sort out another problem - that of dog poo bin provision.

On one of my visits last week I noticed that the bin next to the hall's entrance door was over the brim, in need of emptying.

The collection regime is meant to be daily during the week, though I'd guess that it hadn't been emptied earlier that day.

Someone at the council removed dog poo bins very recently from MPF without putting up notices informing dog walkers that they should now use the regular bins for the waste, or informing the MPF Management Committee. This may account for some dog poo bags having been tied on the heras fencing, and others having been thrown threw into the fenced off area.

Scabiosa flowers in the orchard at MPF
I have asked officers to review the placement and provision of bins, plus to add signage clarifying that dog waste should be put in the bins. The council needs to make it as easy as possible for dog walkers to dispose of the dog poo as in a responsible way.
Looking west towards Hewett Avenue from next to CTFC's store

New 'trim trail' parallel with Hewett Avenue
A new perimeter footpath is currently being installed along the boundary line adjacent to Hewett Avenue. This is for the 'trim trail' (a fitness trail around MPF) the idea for which was supported by many in the consultation. Heras fencing is around the works area, but as soon as a section of the path is completed, the fencing will be removed, opening it up for use.

Three benches have been removed to fit in a football pitch for use this winter. Officers have said that a temporary bench will be installed by the new footpath at the south end of the playing fields.

During the works to the pitches the range of facilities is temporarily reduced. However once completed there will be a broader range of facilities and activities to support greater use of the playing fields.

One the new central footpath is installed next year together with the avenue of trees, new benches will be installed along it.

Reading Borough Council has a page with updates about the works. You may also wish to have a look at the FAQ.

An RBC officer has responded to my request to assess the provision of bins across MPF and the need for signs. There are 7 bins, two of which were behind fencing for a period (south west corner next to southern most exit on to Hewett Avenue, and the other one is half way along boundary with Hewett Avenue, although the first of these is now accessible).

The bins are now being emptied regularly, with plenty of capacity. Since the bins are being used for general rubbish and also dog poo bags, therefore officers feel there is no need for education of dog walkers, so no signs will be put up.

Mapledurham Pavilion reopen for bookings

View of the southern side of Mapledurham Pavilion
Mapledurham Pavilion will reopen for bookings as from Monday 22 July.

The hall was closed on 21 January 2016 on a temporary basis due to concerns about bowing of the external southern wall. Regrettably and much to the frustration and annoyance of our community, all but the football changing rooms and tennis club room had remained closed until now.

The renovations were funded by the Warren and District Residents Association which has raised a substantial amount of money through various community events and large donations from Festival Republic.

The booking charges remain as follows:

Type of Booking
Community Group
One hour booking
Community Groups

£27.00 for 2-4 hours
+ £6.75 per additional hour
Private Bookings
One hour booking
Private Bookings

£54.00 for 2-4 hours
+ £13.50 per additional hour
Commercial Bookings
Set by Programme Manager on request

Bookings should be made through the Programme Manager on 0118 937 5060

The Pavilion will need to close again later this year in order to have further work done. This will be paid for out of part of the money paid to the Mapledurham Playing Fields Trust by the Department for Education for improvements to the Trust's land. These future works will include installing a new kitchen and loos, plus the insertion of windows into the southern wall to reopen views across the playing fields.