Some two years ago we all feared that the triangle might be lost to development, posing a threat to Village Day and Bookham’s public outdoor events. Through the combined action of local residents, the Bookhams Residents’ Association (BRA), the Bookham Community Association (BCA), and liaising with both Surrey and Mole Valley Councils, we have now secured this area as a public space complete with benches and plantings.
Just before Christmas two benches were fixed onto concrete bases, adding to the shrubs and trees which were planted earlier last year. Covid managed to intervene throughout 2020/2021 causing supply shortages and delays through illness. But through a concerted effort we managed to both secure the land by getting it recognised as an asset of public value and designated as local green space on the Mole Valley Local Plan. Doug McCann and Angela Benny acted as local road co-ordinators, liaising with residents in both The Garstons and Mead Crescent, and getting teams stuck in to raking when the long growth was cut back in November. Thanks go to the Pyatt and Mickova families for their raking and their baking – not only did they get stuck into raking up the long grass, but they also raised £110 from a bake sale to go towards tree planting in Bookham. BCA’s Keith Slark and BRA’s Peter Seaward helped push progress in numerous Zoom meetings over 2 years.
Thanks also go to Angela Smith who has donated one of the benches in memory of her husband, former Councillor Jim Smith, who served Bookham for many years. Near to her home, we hope that she will be able to enjoy these benches in the years to come. The changeover to frequent mowing by Mole Valley District Council at the same time as the Barn Hall fields (from the previous Surrey County Council less frequent longer cuts) the whole area should become a seamless part of the Old Barn Hall fields, ready to host Village Day, Food Festivals and indeed be used for recreation by the residents of Bookham.
Whilst the Garstons Triangle is still taking shape we hope that within a year or two it will look and feel like the old and much loved Willow triangle – a lovely green space for the people of Bookham. A great example of people working together for the common good.