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News  »  South Quantock Heritage Trail

   South Quantock Heritage Trail    September 9, 2016

Reporting Notes following Cheddon Fitzpaine Parish Council Meeting on 8, Sept. 2016.



Agenda Item: Heritage Trail and Sensory Garden.



Background: The Heritage Trail is part of the wider St Augustine’s Heritage Project, comprising church repairs, car-park extension, new toilet and provision of a Heritage Trail encompassing the four adjoining parishes in the Benefice.


Delays resulting from more works than anticipated to the church have meant delay in progressing the Heritage Trail element of the Project.


Primary Schools at Cheddon and West Monkton have contributed to the illustrations required for proposed leaflets and maps to be used for the Trail. (Kingston St. Mary School did not respond to earlier requests, but it is hoped they will contribute in future)


The Trail is supported financially by the Heritage Lottery Fund. (Other elements of the Project are supported by HLF and others)


The name of the Trail adopted and acceptable to HLF is ‘The South Quantock Heritage Trail’. HLF , like the Parish Councils, require the title to have secular rather than religious connotations. The Trail includes the 4 medieval churches, but also includes Hestercombe, Fyne Court, the schools, and canal towpath (on a National Cycle Route). It is intended to be as inclusive as possible, and the Project Team is currently working with Selworthy School to locate a site suitable for building a sensory garden.


The following are requests to Cheddon Fitpaine Parish Council:


1. The cartographers working on the Trail Plan require as much detail in terms of existing footpaths and rights of way as possible to progress the ‘map’.

2. The church is presently reviewing the name of ‘The United Benefice of West Monkton, Kingston St. Mary, Broomfield and Cheddon Fitzpaine’. The proposal is to change the name to ‘The South Quantock Benefice’. Whilst the Project Team recognise the fact the Parish Council is unable to engage in matters relating to religious denominations, any support which the P.C. can offer to support the name change would be welcomed. It was recognised at the meeting an opportunity would be missed on ‘brand awareness’ if the Trail and the Benefice did not share commonality of title.

3. Selworthy School runs a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for their (disabled) students. They would like to contribute to the Trail. The writer has suggested a Sensory Garden could be created by the students. Suggested locations have proved unworkable, and whilst a possible site at the new West Monkton Primary School is under consideration, the Project Team welcomes any other suitable suggested sites within the Trail Plan area.

4. Delays in progressing the Trail have resulted in delays to formulating the Plan. Until paths and rights are established, it is not possible to conclude signage requirements. A request for up to  £500 budget allowance from Cheddon Parish Council for the financial year commencing April, 2017 was made. It was explained that savings in other areas of the Project might result in the allowance not being required during the forthcoming year, but an allowance might be requested for the financial year commencing April, 2018.



The responses from those present was entirely positive. Help was offered regarding paths & rights of way by Cllr. Fothergill, who also mentioned Public Health and WPA Trust, Blackbrook as supporters of ‘activity’ based initiatives ( contact Julian Stainton). Cllr. Fothergill also mentioned a review of Somerset C.C. sites might reveal a suitable location for a sensory garden. Cllr. Cavill indicated a site at the new West Monkton Primary School might be possible, but warned that ‘My Space’ ( Mike Owen) are presently progressing with planting schemes, so the school needs to be advised as a matter of urgency to avoid missing the possibility.


Several present indicated any request to the Parish Councils for funds for the Trail must emphasise the fact it is not a request to assistance for the churches. The writer indicated the inclusion of none-religious venues confirms the Trail is intended for all. A decision regarding the £500 funding request was not made during the time the writer was in attendance at the meeting.


The writer expressed his thanks for the opportunity to address the meeting.




Kevin Davenport. ( Little Haven, Sidbrook, West Monkton, Taunton, TA2 8NL. Tel: 01823 413628)


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