A NEW piece of land next to the Millennium Green has been gifted to Honiton after a generous donation from one of the the town’s residents.
Adjacent to the Millennium Green on Parsonage Lane is the new gift to the town, an untamed grass area, that the Millennium Green committee, headed up by Kassa Retter, already had their eye on.
Mrs Retter said: “There were a number of people interested in purchasing the land but the bidding was raised much higher than, as a charity, we could reasonably afford.
“We had accepted that the land would likely be purchased with the view of applying for planning permission, which would have had a long term effect on the surrounding area.”
Then, out of the blue, local resident Michael Vernon approached the committee and said he was just about to finalise the purchase of the land and wanted to know if the trustees would accept a ‘gift’ of the land to form part of the Millennium Green, so it can be used to protect wildlife and be an extra space for the people of Honiton.
Mrs Retter added: “It makes your heart swell to know that there are still people in our community that are selfless enough to provide the community with a space to enjoy for many years to come. Something as valuable as land is a precious thing.
“On behalf of the trustees and all the people of Honiton, we thank Michael Vernon for the wonderful gift.
Mr Vernon didn’t disclose how much he had bought the land for, but said that he felt it would be a shame if the area didn’t go to the Millennium Green, who help provide a vital green space for the town.
The new area will be called ‘Vernon Corner’ and the aim of the Millennium green committee is to create a space that provides a link between the current parkland area, that has a mixture of shrubs, grassland and native trees and a wet land area.
The committee is hoping that Vernon Corner will encourage and protect wild flowers and be a haven for insects and small mammals.
Mrs Retter continued: “We are hoping to engage with the schools and young families in the town next year and create insect hotels, hedgehog houses and plenty of opportunities for children’s education and participation in nature.
“We are looking at all sorts. Perhaps we could have a wooden structure that people could shelter under from the weather but also have mouse boxes embedded in the frame.”
In the next few months, work will begin on taming the wild brambles, but the committee are hoping to officially open the land to the public towards the end of next year.
There will be participation days for young families to help with the construction of some of the exciting wildlife features next year.
If you would like to be a part of the exciting project and join the Millennium Green committee, you can become a ‘Friend of the Green’ and help think of some new ideas, assists with fundraising and even take part in light essential ground works.
You can get involved by ringing Kassa Retter on 07761 926628 and the committee is holding their AGM at The Vine Inn, Honiton on November 23rd at 7pm.
Those interested in the Millennium Green and the new ‘Vernon Corner’ are encouraged to go along.
Millennium Greens are areas of green space created for the benefit of local communities. A total of 245 were created in cities, towns and villages across England to celebrate the turn of the Millennium.