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'Bottom pitch' successfully bought
A HISTORIC piece of land in Weaverham has been successfully bought by Weaverham Trust after a last minute appeal to raise £15,000.
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 an auction in Manchester, which took place last night, 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.
Despite only having four days to secure the money, Weaverham Trust was able to buy the land, which had a guide price of £10,000 to £15,000, at last night’s auction.
During the auction, a rival bidder drove the price up to £16,000, making the total £17,500 with expenses.
Having secured a third of the money themselves, the Trust was fortunate enough to be given a £10,000 loan by one of their members, and a further £2,500 by Weaver and Cuddington Ward councillors, Charles Fifield, John Grimshaw and Alan McKie from their personal ward member budgets.
Richard Gorrill, vice chairman of Weaverham Trust, said he was delighted the Trust had secured the land, but that the real challenge is only just beginning.
“We’ve got the problem of repaying the loan now, as well as deciding on how the land will be used and maintained.
“Weaverham Trust doesn’t want to own the land and maintain it – we’re not qualified to do that, but we have to decide what to do now.
“Cheshire Wildlife Trust has told us in writing that if we donate the land to them, they will maintain it.
“And because we own the land, we’ve got time to sort it out properly.”
Weaverham Trust now has until Christmas to pay back the £10,000 loan.
Anyone wishing to donate money should contact Richard Gorrill on 01606 853 850.