Duchy of Cornwall

Great Field update

Preparation work on the Great Field has continued in recent months, alongside continual use by the community over the summer.

Planting

Over 400 trees and 26,000 shrubs and hedge plants will have been established on completion. The next planting season will commence later in November and we will take the opportunity to also replace losses from over the summer. These have been surprisingly small given the extremes of weather experienced during the year.

Wildflowers

The next phase of wild flower seeding was undertaken, again under the guidance of Miles King (of People Need Nature). To encourage establishment and reduce competition for the traditional flowers from quicker growing grasses, the areas were cut to a carefully planned programme. This enables a variety of habitats to be provided and greatly assists diversity.

Pathing and play equipment

The paths in the northern part of the field were laid as planned in the summer. The play equipment and amphitheatre programme has been updated and work is scheduled to start in April 2021, with first use targeted for the summer holidays.

Pavilion

The Pavilion is well under way with the initial work on target to be completed around the end of the year. The final preparations will then be made, with opening planned for the Spring.

Wessex Water

Installation of the new facility in the southeast corner of the Great Field has been concluded. Wessex Water delivered an exemplar scheme in both design and practice; the finish above ground belies the complex and essential installation below. When the grass is established, the fence will be removed, allowing installation of the final sections of the path.

Access

Almost all the open space remained accessible to the public during the first Covid 19 lockdown, proving it to be a valuable area for daily exercise, suitable for young and old. The same will apply during the next month of lockdown and it is there to be used by everyone. Please do continue to follow government guidance.

There will be a short period around Spring / early Summer when the play equipment area will be temporarily fenced for safety during construction.

 

Thanks are due to the many people who have worked with us on the project to date; Forest & Tree Care, Heritage Seeds, and Wessex Ground Services. Also to the officers of Dorchester Town Council, Fabrik Landscape designers, People Need Nature and CG Fry (on the Pavilion), all of whom have collaborated and advised us on the development of the Great Field.