To fence or not to fence? Confusion over use of Estover playing fields is eased

PUBLISHED: 14:08 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 28 August 2020

Fencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Pictured left is Alex Fisher, director of March Town FC Estover CIC, and right, the fencing at Estover playing fields. Picture: DAN MASON

Fencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Pictured left is Alex Fisher, director of March Town FC Estover CIC, and right, the fencing at Estover playing fields. Picture: DAN MASON

Archant

One of the directors running the Estover pavilion and playing fields has eased confusion over whether residents will still have access to most of the area.

Fencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Picture: DAN MASONFencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Picture: DAN MASON

Concerns were raised by a resident on social media about whether two thirds of the fields were unable to be used by members of the public, and only for sports organisations who use the site.

Alex Fisher, a director of March Town FC Estover Community Interest Company, confirmed dogwalkers and other users can walk around the other pitches in addition to a designated area for them, before and after fencing has been installed.

“When there is a football match on, the gates will be open and members of the public, like normal, can still come through and to walk their dogs around the perimeter,” he said.

“As the site gets busier, the gates will be open more and more and will create more access for people when they fancy having a stroll.”

Fencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Pictured is Alex Fisher, director of March Town FC Estover CIC. Picture: DAN MASONFencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Pictured is Alex Fisher, director of March Town FC Estover CIC. Picture: DAN MASON

Fencing between the multi-use games area and the pavilion has already been installed, while work on perimeter fencing along the Estover Road side of the fields is expected to begin next week.

March town councillor Jan French, who helped save the site from housing development, said the fencing was highlighted in the Estover plans before it was taken over.

“It’s not pleasant when you have to pick up dog poo, broken glass and litter,” she said.

“The fencing has been in the pipeline for years, so it should not be a surprise to anybody.

Fencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Picture: DAN MASONFencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Picture: DAN MASON

“We are trying to make it accessible for as many members of the public as we can, but some have spoilt it with dog poo and litter. That’s no way to treat a playing field.”

MORE: ‘We have to make it succeed’ - directors aim high in bid to make Estover pavilion and playing fields the sporting hub for Fenland

Residents will be unable to use the fields for leisure use such as picnics and dog-walking if a specific event is being held or all gates are locked at certain times of the day.

But although there will not be fencing around the whole perimeter of the fields, Fisher is confident this will not be an issue.

Fencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Picture: DAN MASONFencing has been installed at the Estover Road pavilion and playing fields in March, and it is expected that residents can still use most of the area. Picture: DAN MASON

“I know some will be upset about it, but we’ve had some dogwalkers who have supported the idea,” he said.

“When the fencing is up, they will have a substantial percentage of that field for dog-walking, and the rest of the site will be open at times when the site is having some usage.

“We’re hoping people will have a bit of common sense.”

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