We are delighted that our member, the Nympsfield Village Green Action Group, has succeeded in registering The Leaze in Nympsfield, six miles south-west of Stroud in Gloucestershire, as a village green.
Mr Ian Crossland of the group applied to Gloucestershire County Council, the greens registration authority, to register The Leaze in 2009. At that time the landowner, the Gloucester Diocese Board of Finance, had made a submission to Stroud District Council that it be allocated for housing development. The action group was able to demonstrate that the historic field had been used for recreation for at least 20 years.
Says Ian Crossland: ‘We are delighted that The Leaze has been formally recognised as a village green. With great support from the community we were able to show that The Leaze had been used for informal recreation and sport, without permission or challenge, by villagers for the required 20 years—although, in fact, such activities have taken place there for as long as anyone can remember. The advice and documentation produced by the Open Spaces Society were crucial to this achievement.’
Adds Nicola Hodgson, the society’s case officer: ‘We congratulate Ian Crossland and the action group on their success. Now local people have the right of recreation on this historic land for ever more, and it is protected from development.’
The Leaze is a four-acre field close to the ancient parish church in the heart of Nympsfield village. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century maps show that The Leaze was previously called ‘The Greens’, indicating that this new village green was, in fact, the village’s original village green on which common rights had been extinguished by enclosure.