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In the middle of Crudwell village, opposite the Mayfield House Hotel, is a large field which people often use to walk their dogs. There’s a footpath which follows the line of the Swill Brook and goes across the bridge and round the back of Crudwell School.

This field is owned by the Diocese of Bristol – the church organisation responsible for looking after church buildings and land in the Bristol area. The diocese plans to fence off the part of the field to the south of the footpath so it can be used for grazing livestock. This means that most of the field will not be available any more for dog walking.

The diocese has offered to lease the remaining area of land – roughly from the stream to the footpath – to the Parish Council  to use as community land. We would be responsible for keeping it neat and tidy, and cutting the grass, and it would be available for public use.

We’d like to know what you think about that idea! Would you use the land? What for? Should we try and turn it into a facility the village doesn’t have at the moment, and – if so – what could that be? Or do you think it would just become a litter-strewn eyesore, and we should turn down the offer from the diocese? Please let us have your thoughts by using the Contact form on the website, or by email to Please switch on JavaScript to see our email address.

Comments (4)

  • Roger Woolley

    Re The Glebe Field
    I am personally against the Parish Council taking a lease/owning this land. At present the responsibility for maintenance of the land together with the banks of the Swill Brook belongs to others, I.e. Bristol Diocese. The reason they wish to fence off the south area of the field is so that it can be kept clear of dog faeces and let out as land fit for animal occupation. As you know, there is a nasty parasite that lives in dog faeces which is fatal to some animals if they come into contact with it. This leaves the land north of the fence, i.e. the public footpath and land between it and the Swill Brook still contaminated and still used by some irresponsible dog owners to allow their pets to defecate on it. This I believe would then become the PC’s responsibility to clear it up together with additional insurance costs and to maintain the banks of the Swill Brook together with paying for the meadow land to be flayed twice a year. it would not be beyond the bounds of reality for a walker using this footpath to instigate legal proceedings against the tenant/land owner if it was considered a health risk due to non-clearance of dog faeces. It also, in my opinion, puts further unnecessary costs onto the Parish Council. Roger Woolley

    • Jonathan Furlonger

      Hi Roger, thanks for the comments. As I understand it, the diocese intends to fence of the main part of the Glebe Field for grazing irrespective of what happens to the smaller, northern part. I guess we’d then have to wait and see whether they maintained the unfenced part to any extent.

      • Roger Woolley

        Hi Jonathan, Thanks for your reply. The other thing I omitted to say is that the landowner/tenant is also responsible for keeping the watercourse clear of all debris together with maintaining it. All the time it is Bristol Diocese land that is their responsibility/liability and it is of the utmost importance they carry out their duty in that respect (at their own cost) because if it becomes blocked and the water cannot escape to the flood plain lower down it will back up and again cause flooding in the village.

        • Jonathan Furlonger

          Hi Roger
          All true! Unfortunately, there’s a big difference between ‘should maintain’ and ‘will maintain’. If the majority of the field IS fenced off for grazing, I do wonder whether there will be even less incentive for the owner to carry out maintenance. And there’s no way I can see for the village or the Council to force the diocese to act. In the end, we may have to balance what’s ideal against what’s practical. And I don’t know the answer to that!!