One of the most significant jewels in the Freshford crown is the land known simply as the Tyning. The land was in private ownership but was registered as a village green in 1970. It separates the distinct character areas of Freshford village and Sharpstone. Its inclusion within the conservation area now links the two areas to form one large conservation area. Divided by the lane that bisects it, the Tyning land to the South and East has been open land maintained by the Parish Council while the land on the North West side has been enclosed and used as pasture land for grazing.
Throughout the course of the Neighbourhood Plan process there was much discussion about securing and protecting the future use of the Tyning land. The expressed wish of many residents was that the whole of the Tyning be made open and accessible to all. In other words, that the legitimate rights of villagers to access the land in its entirety, for the purposes of recreation and sport, be fulfilled.
Freshford Parish Council was been in negotiation with the owners of the Tyning land and made an offer for purchase of the land which was been accepted subject to contract and to agreement being reached between the parties on matters of costs and liability. The Council believed that the purchase of the Tyning land was in the best interests of the residents to secure its long term future by taking it into community ownership and to ensure its continuing protection as a village green.
The Council took the view that this was a matter of such importance and significance to all residents that before taking any irrevocable step a Public Meeting was convened to allow all residents the opportunity to attend and to air their views. This meeting took place on 15th February 2013 in Freshford Memorial Hall. The packed meeting – about 93 people attended – heard a presentation by
Nick Stevens, Chairman of Freshford Parish Council, about the history of The Tyning and the reasons for recommending its purchase. There then followed a wide-ranging discussion, with many members of the audience participating, at the end of which the mood of the meeting was clearly in favour of continuing discussions towards a possible purchase. For Nick Stevens’ presentation and of the discussions that followed see the pages linked below.
On Friday 14th March 2014 the Parish Council successfully completed the purchase of the Tyning land from the MacDonald family. For the first time in its history the Tyning is now owned by the community and stands alongside the other 3680 registered village greens throughout the U.K. owned by the local parish councils.