Special status could be on the cards for St Mary’s Lands in Warwick

An application that would potentially see two areas of St Mary’s Lands in Warwick protected will be submitted.

At Warwick District Council’s Executive meeting on Wednesday the council backed the motion to apply to Fields in Trust charity for two areas.

St Mary's Lands. Photo by Linda Bromley.

St Mary's Lands. Photo by Linda Bromley.

Applications will now been made for the ‘northern enclosure’ to be a Centenary Field and the nature reserve area to be a ‘Green Space for Good’. The ‘northern enclosure’ is thought to be the site of the Hill House Hospital, which treated local soldier who returned home.

The Centenary Fields project aims to protect green spaces in memory of those who fought in the First World War. Abbey Fields in Kenilworth, St Nicholas Park in Warwick, the Pump Room Gardens in Leamington and open space in Tapping Way in Warwick, which is will be named RAF Centenary Park, have been designated Centenary Fields due to earlier applications.

Following contact from the Friends of St Mary’s Lands the council will now apply for the two sites in the area.

Cllr Noel Butler, who was on the Executive committee, said: “I am really pleased. The Hill House Hospital lived in people’s memories for many years and becoming a Centenary Field would be a nice way to commemorate it. If the two applications go through it would mean two thirds of St Mary’s Lands would be protected.”

Linda Bromley, on behalf of the Friends of St Mary’s Lands, said: “The Friends of St Mary Lands were disappointed that opposition councillors did not ask questions on St Mary’s Lands at the Overview and Scrutiny Meeting.

“Research has revealed a great deal of evidence that there was a WW1 Military Hospital, Royal Warwickshire Regiment training camps and soldiers drilling on our Common, all testament to the vital part that St Mary’s Lands played in the First World War effort.

“However, our request to the Executive Committee for an extended area to be protected by the Fields in Trust Centenary programme was not heeded.”