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'Bottom pitch' up for auction
A LAST minute appeal has been made to raise £15,000 to buy a historic piece of land in Weaverham.
Members of Weaverham Trust were left shocked last week when they discovered a piece of land, adjacent to the nature reserve at Owley Wood, was to be sold at auction in Manchester on Thursday.
The land in question, two plots of just over one and a half acres in size, is known locally as the ‘bottom pitch’ and has been used as a playing field for generations.
Weaverham Parish Council, Weaverham Trust and the Friends of Owley Wood, have had just one week to raise enough money to buy back the land, which has a guide price of £10,000 to £15,000, amid fears of what other potential buyers may use it for.
In a meeting between the three organisations, a strategy was agreed for purchasing the land in Thursday’s auction.
Richard Gorrill, vice chairman of Weaverham Trust, said: “We’ve managed to secure a third of the money, and we’re now frantically rallying around trying to find the other two thirds.”
Weaverham Parish Council is looking to see if they can acquire an interest free loan from Cheshire West and Chester Council ahead of Thursday.
“We believe that we will have enough money by Thursday, even if it’s a loan, for the bid,” said Richard, “Once we have secured the land, if we can get to that stage by Thursday, we can then spend three months securing all of the money.”
The land, which is surrounded by Owley Wood on three sides, is currently maintained by the Friends of Owley Wood on behalf of Cheshire Wildlife Trust.
A spokesperson for the Trust said: “Unfortunately the Trust is not currently in a position to purchase the land due for sale adjacent to our existing nature reserve at Owley Woods. However, should the new owners wish to continue to manage the land for the benefit of nature conservation, we will work with them to achieve that aim which would be a great outcome for the community and local wildlife.”
Anyone wishing to donate money should contact Richard Gorrill on 01606 853 850.