Meadows lark

photo(6)Motorists will be used to this view of Christchurch Meadows as work goes on to install the new foot/cycle bridge.

Yet just a few months back, as plans were being made to open this route for works to begin, the outcry over the loss of eight trees was making headlines. It was one of many unproductive rows over this park.

Not long ago there was a battle over plans to build a mini golf activity. Years ago there were plans for new changing rooms and even a burger bar. The result was nothing happened.

In fact the bridge is the only substantial change to have gone ahead – and it was only because it is funded by a one-off government grant.

So all the campaigns and battles have achieved is to leave this excellent park lacking any kind of central feature. The bridge may bring more people but all they’ll do is pass through.

In fact its footpaths will likely go through what were once, much used football pitches. There are no decent changing facilities and just a playpark and paddling pool for the kids.

It’s an asset that should be attracting people all year but it is so painfully underused you start to wonder if the council are the right people to operate it.

Their concern is always what the locals might give them a hard time about. Even if those locals are the usual opponents to everything. The new bridge ought to be the chance to build something attractive and useful to keep the park in operation more often.

The likelihood is however, Christchuch Meadows will just going on being there with  Reading is failing to make the most of it.

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About Alan Bunce

Freelance journalist Former Community Editor with the Reading Post. Former Business Editor with the Reading Chronicle.
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