To consider the report of the Maintenance & Environmental Services Officer.
The Committee considered the report of the Maintenance & Environmental Services Officer.
Members expressed their support for the project and the location as set out in plan and that the Wild Witney Group can re-wild this area. Consideration was given to a user agreement and it was suggested the newly created Park Ranger post should retain overall control of the area and that they collaborate with the group on this project with a discussion-based relationship to create the space and solve issues as and when they arise.
It was suggested that the project should be regularly reviewed on a six monthly/yearly basis so that progress can be ascertained and a decision can be made on extending the area. Discussion ensued on the need for all involved to agree on maintaining footpaths, planting of tree species and new habitats. The importance of investigating the rights of way across the land to ensure access is maintained was emphasised.
1. That, the area outlined in the report for rewilding be supported;
2. That, delegation be given to officers to prepare a user agreement between Witney Town Council & Wild Witney with the draft being referred to the Policy, Governance & Finance Committee and then Full Council for approval;
3. That, the content of the user agreement are decided in consultation with Officers (Park Ranger) and other groups on maintaining footpaths, planting of tree species, and new habitats with a review process included; and
4. That, the installation of notice boards informing users of the county park about the plan for the area is supported