Following a successful period of fund raising and a loan from the Public Works Loan Board, Weir Meadow and the adjacent Northern Fields were purchased by Ide Parish Council for the village on the 23rd September 2022. This significant event marks the culmination of several years of discussions, studies and consultation to secure an open space for the village that can be used for recreation and sport. This would not have happened without the dedication of the members of the working groups set up to progress the project and the support and enthusiasm of village residents.

The Weir Meadow and Joint Projects Fund Raising Working Group continues to meet monthly to manage the land; and to progress the development of a playing field at Weir Meadow. We have planning consent from Teignbridge District Council to develop sports pitches for football and cricket, an all weather games area and car parking. As part of the development we will also be creating new areas of natural habitat, including hedges, grassland and woodland.

There are, at this time, a few simple conditions that have been put in place to ensure that everyone can use the Meadow and the Northern Fields as intended. These are

  • Weir Meadow is open every day of the year from dawn until dusk (closed from 10pm). Access can be gained via the entrance off Halscombe Lane or down through Northern Fields.
  • In Weir Meadow dog walkers must keep their dogs under close control and stick to the boundary of the Meadow. The sports pitches will be developed in the central part of the Meadow and we want to ensure that access compatible with the use of the pitches for games and recreation is promoted right from the start.
  • The Northern Fields have been let for an initial two year period to a local farmer who has kindly agreed to allow pedestrian access around the perimeter of Northern Field East. Please respect this arrangement, stay close to the edges of the cultivated field and keep dogs on the lead. A new kissing gate and a stile have been installed at points on the boundary of Northern Field East with College Lane (see map). Please use these access points into the field. Clear up any dog waste and put it in the red bin installed at the upstream end of College Lane ford or by the main entrance to Weir Meadow.
  • No fires, barbecues or camping is allowed in Weir Meadow and cars, bicycles, motor bikes and other vehicles are not allowed into the Meadow without permission.
  • As with the Community Orchard, professional dog walking is not permitted in Weir Meadow, Northern Fields or Oak Bank.

A new opening at the southern end of the hedge running down the centre of the Northern Fields has been made. This allows access to the three acres (1.5 hectares) of rough grassland and scrub on the slope of Northern Field West. We have called this area Oak Bank (as there are already a few small oak saplings established here). This area will be managed in order to reduce the extent of brambles and promote access for walkers and people who want to exercise their dogs off the lead. An application to the Forestry Commission is being made to obtain funding to enable natural tree and shrub regeneration in this area, with the eventual aim of establishing an area of accessible open woodland.

With access to Weir Meadow and the Northern Fields now secured, the efforts of the Working Groups are shifting to developing plans and obtaining funding for the sports
pitches, other recreational facilities, car parking, fencing and tree planting. This will take some time, but we are hopeful that aspects such as tree planting will start early in 2023 and initial works preparing the sport pitches will take place during 2023. There will definitely be plenty of scope for people to help make Weir Meadow and the Northern Fields the fantastic green space that the village needs. Opportunities to volunteer across a range of projects will be highlighted in the Ide Times and on this website – any offer of assistance will be welcomed!

Richard Cottle, Chair of the Weir Meadow Working Group
January 2023