Abbey Meadows ‘open space’ formally opens

By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas

 

WILD meadows, a children’s play area, an apiary and orchard, and areas to let dogs off the lead all linked by footpaths are now open to the public at Abbey Meadows, Titchfield.

The Mayor, Councillor Pamela Bryant and Mayoress Councillor Louise Clubley carried out the traditional ribbon-cutting at the latest addition to Fareham Borough Council’s parks and open areas.

The ceremony took place in the children’s play area which has been designed to reflect the nearby Titchfield Abbey and includes multi-climbing units, swings, what are described as ‘fixed musical instruments’, plus seating and picnic tables.

Although it has previously been called a ‘park’, the council prefers to designate Abbey Meadows a public ‘open space’ because it is for recreation but in a less formal, less structured natural environment.

The council’s Executive Member for Streetscene, Councillor Ian Bastable, explained: “It is different from our other outdoor spaces as it will not only help us to continue developing the biodiversity and wildlife interests in the area, but the peaceful setting allows visitors to fully enjoy nature in all its glory.”

And he paid tribute to the children of Titchfield Primary School, “who were so instrumental in the creation of the new natural style play area. It enables children of all abilities to play together and will be a huge benefit for the local community and visitors to Titchfield.”

The site covers 20 hectares – equivalent to 28 football pitches – and came into the possession of Fareham Borough Council in 2015 as part of a Section 106 agreement with the developers of the Friary Meadows Care Village.

Somerset-based Oak Retirement Limited also contributed £630,000 for laying out the park and its maintenance in perpetuity.

It was named ‘Abbey Meadows’ in 2018 after a public consultation in which nearly 80 percent of the votes went to that name rather than Anjou Park, after Margaret of Anjou who was married at Titchfield Abbey to Henry V, and Parky McParkface.

There are two main access points to the area: off Mill Lane or Cartwright Drive, with the latter being closer to the children’s play area.

Both have free car parking but there no toilets – the nearest council managed facilities being located at Barry’s Meadow, Titchfield, PO14 4AJ.

Further information about Abbey Meadows, including its history, is available on the Fareham Borough Council website:

Image (above) a diagrammatic map of Abbey Meadows, reproduced with permission of Fareham Borough Council