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Friends reclaimed site
8:00am Thursday 7th June 2012 in Letters
Sir – A letter from the chairman of the St Margaret’s Area Society in your edition of May 31 was given the misleading heading Trap Grounds owes its status to our work. The SMAS did indeed oppose plans to build a warehouse on the Trap Grounds — but that was 40 years ago.
For decades the site continued to be used as a rubbish tip, neglected by the owners and increasingly overgrown, until the Friends of the Trap Grounds (FoTG) got together in 1995 to reclaim the land for the community, and to conserve it for the peaceful enjoyment of wildlife and natural scenery.
We raised £50,000 to fund our successful campaign to register the woodland as a Town Green.
Since then we have raised a further £34,000, enabling us hugely to improve public access, with a network of paths and a beautiful boardwalk, creating flower meadows and opening up parts of the site that had become totally impenetrable.
FoTG volunteers have invested hundreds of hours of practical work in all this, together with Oxford Conservation Volunteers.
To my certain knowledge, no members of the SMAS committee (who seem to be the sole driving force behind the campaign for an unnecessary and potentially damaging extra entrance) have contributed anything to the project. Nor have they ever consulted us about their current demand.
Prof Alan Allport, Chairman, The Friends of the Trap Grounds