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Little Billing Pocket Park

For some years now the Parish Council has owned a piece of land (around 2.16 acres) in Little Billing. This is situated in between the rear gardens of domestic houses in Valley Road in the west, and Billing Brook (known locally as the Washbrook) on the eastern side. Once part of the Great Billing Hall Estate, this land ends at the entrance to a right of way into Codlin Close in the north, where the Billing Brook widens into a small lake. This is known locally as Watker's Lake, named after a gamekeeper who was once in the employ of the Estate, and whose cottage was then nearby. To the south the tract ends at the footpath which links Valley Road with Glade Close and Fishponds Road. There is an attractive weir on the edge of the lake, after which the river continues its meandering course in a southerly direction towards Billing Aquadrome. This land is now the new Pocket Park for Little Billing, to be maintained and nurtured by volunteers under the guidance of a Committee of local residents.

A popular space

Enjoyed by many

The area is most agreeable combining both wooded and open tracts and benefits from a good asphalt footpath which runs through its centre.

It is already popular with walkers, joggers, cyclists and dog owners, and it is also widely used as a shortcut. By taking the right of way into Codlin Close, access can be obtained, via other footpaths and pedestrian road bridges, to the local shopping complex some 10 to 15 minutes walk away. The footpath further north meanders through a similar sized parcel of land, with the same characteristics, which is in the ownership of the West Northamptonshire Council. This is less formal, with a path originally covered with shingle, which has subsequently disappeared, making it rather muddy, particularly in the winter months. Apart from exercise purposes, this is used predominantly by school children whilst on their way to, and returning from, Northampton Academy.

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Volunteers needed

The future looks bright

It is anticipated that the creation of the Pocket Park, which it is hoped will be more open for visitors to the stream than at present, will encourage a greater diversity of wildlife through the planting of more native trees, shrubs and new hedging. The creation of new informal paths, a picnic area and a native bluebell area are also planned. Some attention to existing trees, including pollarding is also under review.

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