Saturday, December 03, 2005

Trust publish their vision for Jefferies Land at Coate and a history of the area

Jefferies Land Conservation Trust


3 December 2005

Trust publish their vision for Jefferies Land at Coate and a history of the area

The Jefferies Land Conservation Trust has published two pamphlets that provide a guide to the literary and historic interest in land at Coate and their vision for an alternative use of this special area.

The first pamphlet entitled Coate and Richard Jefferies was written by a local historian. John Chandler, who lives near Salisbury, examines the links between the Victorian author Richard Jefferies and the land where Jefferies was born and raised at Coate. The report discusses this area in the context of the life and career of Jefferies, its topography and character during the period of his acquaintance with it, and major references to the area in his works. It concludes with an assessment of Jefferies as a topographical writer, as formed by literary opinion since his death, and considers the importance of the Coate area in his works.

The second pamphlet An alternative use for Jefferies Land forms the basis of the Trust’s vision [1] for the area. It looks at the recent history and how the existing fields and buildings could be put to best use for the future economic, educational, social and environmental well-being of Swindon and its residents.

Jean Saunders, Secretary of the Trust said:

“We are delighted to make these pamphlets available to the public who might not be well acquainted with the special qualities of the area. At the same time, we want to ensure that the greatest assets are protected and enhanced in order that future generations of Swindonians can derive as much pleasure from them as their ancestors.”

The pamphlets can be obtained by sending postage stamps to the value of £1 to Pear Tree Cottage, Longcot, SN7 7SS. Copies can be picked up on Saturday 10th December at 1pm at the Community Crossroads, the former railway museum in Faringdon Road, where the Trust will be holding a special meeting.

For more information contact Jean Saunders on 01793 783040


Editor’s notes
[1] The main elements of the Trust’s Vision are to:

§ maintain the landscape setting of Coate Water in the countryside; to preserve the adjoining Jefferies land as an ideal place for "rambles" to see the links to Jefferies' writing; and .... just simply a "place" to relax and enjoy.

§ enhance the biodiversity of the Site of Special Scientific Interest and the nature reserves at Coate Water, Day House Copse and Burderop Wood North. Extensive new habitats and wildlife corridors would be created, stressing the ecological value of streams, trees and hedges, etc.

§ provide a centre to study and appreciate literary landscapes as an inspiration to UK writers; the history of British nature writing; and to include a special focus on Richard Jefferies' key role in this evolution ;

§ demonstrate and study traditional crafts and environmentally sensitive alternatives that reduce man’s impact on the land, including managing land organically as an educational tool and for local food production;

§ feature the archaeological qualities of the area dating back about 3000 years and the links to others at Liddington Hill and Barbury Castle;

§ provide educational opportunities for local children linking in with local schools and community groups