Plans for new Pightle land in Eaton Socon after generous donation

Chairman of Trustees, Peter Bradford, at The Pightle in Eaton Socon.  

Chairman of Trustees, Peter Bradford, at The Pightle in Eaton Socon. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Plans are being made to manage a huge parcel of open space in Eaton Socon following a generous donation by the landowner.

Two sections of land, totalling 3.5 acres, behind, and adjacent, to Eaton Socon Cricket Club, and adjacent to The Pightle nature reserve have been gifted to The Pightle Trustees by landowner Robert McNish.

The existing Pightle is a six-acre stretch of land that is managed as a wildlife area for trees and plants with paths for walking. It borders the Ouse Meadows and the River Great Ouse and a narrow footpath that runs from St Mary's Church, in Eaton Socon, to the Riverside Park.

Chairman of the Trustees, Peter Bradford, said the news had come as a huge relief and plans were now underway to clear some of the vegetation and plant trees.

"We are very grateful to Robert McNish and family for their donation and also to former St Neots Town councillor Derek Giles for his long-term involvement with The Pightle and also Cllr Barry Chapman who acted as a facilitator between all interested parties."

The new section of land is vast and overgrown, but the plan is to plant larger trees and the land closest to the Willow Bridge will support plants and shrubs that will thrive in wetter conditions near the riverbank and will be known as The Bog Garden.

"The Trustees have proposed naming the Northern area McNish Wood and the Southern area, Giles Gardens and these names have been approved by those recognised. In time, we will install signage and named benches," explained Mr Bradford

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The Pightle was purchased by a group of residents in 1999 and is managed by the Trustees and volunteers. It is home to some rare black Poplar trees and there is a small fruit orchard. There are also wild flower meadows and an enchanted forest for fairies, which is so popular, it has its own Facebook page and attracts hundreds of visitors.

Volunteers meet at The Pightle at 9am on Monday mornings to carry out planting and maintenance work. If you would like to get involved, contact Peter Bradford on: 07747807002 or email: chair@eatonsoconpightle.org.uk or Barry Banks on: 01480 351908.