When the opportunity for the village to secure this wonderful asset occurred there were multiple meetings and lots of discussion. A public survey was held and the majority of the community who voted, supported the purchase and so a bid was then put together by the then Audlem Parish Council. The primary objective was protect it from unwanted development and preserve it as a natural space, available to the community of Audlem.
On the 31st of August 2018, Audlem successfully acquired ownership of this 11.5-acre parcel of land adjacent to Green Lane, the Shropshire Union Canal and Shropshire Street.
As well as ensuring that there would be no unwanted development, it was also intended that the field should offer a variety of recreational uses for villagers and visitors, e.g. wildflower and conservation areas, seating, picnic areas, walking etc.
Some of these plans have now already progressed with the addition of several picnic benches, the digging of 2 ponds as well as the creation of a number of mown pedestrian pathways around the field.
Already it is proving to be very popular with walkers -- with and without dogs! The bottom field, with its quite rare floating bog, has a long established public right of way from the stile at Lock 11 of the Shropshire Union Canal. over to Green Lane adjacent to Grey's Bridge. It can now be more easily accessed though a new pedestrian gate installed close to the canal bridge on Shropshire Street.
One additional major reason for the approval of its purchase, was to use a small part of the field nearest to the village, to provide some long needed additional visitor car parking, in the form of a 'green' car park – something that is currently still in the planning stage.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust (CWT) granted funding for two ponds in the field. One major justification for the ponds was specifically to help the newt population.
There is now one adjacent to the bridge connecting the upper filed to the lower one. A second one is above the floating bog in the lower field – each measuring 10 x 10 metres.
Apparently two ponds that previously existed on the Greys Bridge side had dried up, although the depression in the ground can still be seen.
Five of the round benches have been installed at various places -1 was kindly donated by the Public Hall Committee and 4 more were purchased by the PC.
In March 2019 an online survey was conducted, asking residents to nominate their four preferred uses of the field. The full survey results can be viewed here: