Saturday, 13 August 2022

Don't deface beautiful Well Orchard

Don't deface beautiful Well Orchard

Sir — This photograph is of the Well Orchard in Stoke Row taken in the autumn sunshine.

It is a beautiful natural area adorning our village... until now.

The parish council is proposing to deface this lovely orchard, where families enjoy picnics, sit quietly and read or even practise t’ai chi.

The proposal is to fence off an area of hard-standing topped with artificial turf for further play.

An excellent play area nearby has just been refurbished, catering for a wide range of children’s age groups. Why another area is needed I fail to understand.

Stoke Row is indeed fortunate to also have a large recreation ground which is used for football, cricket, tennis or just running around. Perfect for older children. The Well Orchard, adjacent to the iconic Maharajah’s Well, is a huge asset to the aesthetics of our village, especially in spring when the cherry blossom is out in all its glory, particularly the cherry tree planted by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1964.

The notice board on entering the orchard states: “The trustees of the Maharajah’s Well Trust welcome you to look around and enjoy Ishree Bagh, ‘the Cherry Orchard’. This is an historic place of great charm and we hope you will relax and appreciate its special qualities.”

When so many open spaces are being eroded due to large housing projects, surely it is the duty of the parish council not to deface this beautiful orchard by putting artificial turf on it but to protect it for future generations to enjoy its tranquility. — Yours faithfully,

Valerie Stammers

Stoke Row

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