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Picnic field now secured as part of Halstead Public Gardens

Picnic field now secured as part of Halstead Public Gardens

A much-loved community picnic field in Halstead has been protected as an official recreational open space, it has been announced.

The area, land adjacent to Halstead Public Gardens and known locally as the picnic field, was granted The Deed of Variation on 25th September, meaning it is now secure for future events and activities and has become an integral part of Halstead Public Gardens.

In March 2019, Braintree District Council submitted an application to the Fields in Trust to add this area of land to the existing Centenary Field dedication that marked the Centenary of World War 1.

Councillor Wendy Schmitt, Cabinet Member for Environment and Place, said: “This is really good news - we know that residents who visit Halstead Public Gardens appreciate what a special place it really is. This was reflected recently in the Fields in Trust UK’s Best Park 2019 competition achieving the ‘Much Loved’ status by public vote, placing it in the top 20% of all UK's Best Park 2019 nominations throughout the UK. Now the field is included in the garden’s footprint, its future use is secure for community activities and events.”

Halstead Public Gardens was gifted to the town by George Courtauld and opened in 1901. Over the years, the gardens have been managed by the Friends of Halstead Public Gardens and maintained by Braintree District Council.

Councillor Jackie Pell, Chairman of Friends of Halstead Public Gardens added, “Halstead Public Gardens is a much-loved ‘jewel in the crown’ at the very heart of the local community. It’s a quaint, picturesque and attractive garden rich in the town’s culture and heritage and is a beautiful place for people of all ages to visit and enjoy. I am sure that anyone who is familiar with the gardens will welcome this announcement.” 

For three consecutive years from 2016 to 2018, Halstead Public Gardens was named the Best Medium Park (5-10 acres) and received a Gold award in the Anglia in Bloom Competition entered by the town.