Sunday, 1 June 2014

Celebrating Reach 24Acres

Today, thanks to a massive effort from the volunteer organisers from the village, Reach Village celebrated the opening of Reach 24Acres with a good old knees up!

As a bit of background, the 24 acres of land were purchased in 2011 by the National Trust, with support from Esmee Fairburn, as part of the Wicken Fen Vision Project. The NT then leased some of the land to the Reach Parish council and the village community have been working on projects there. Over the last two years it has been transformed from an agricultural field to a community cricket pitch, orchard and woodland (see previous blogs). 

The weather was great for the opening event where there were lots of activities taking place. The first game on the new cricket pitch, Reach village -v- The National Trust Team. Neither team was quite sure what expect from the other having not meet before, both teams were trying to sound me out before the game, being the link between the two, but I also had no idea of either sides cricketing ability. The NT team were first in to bat, with the one representative from Wicken out first. They put in a surprisingly solid performance and beat all expectations, all out for an impressive 217 after 37 overs. The Reach Team in bat looked a little shaky at first quickly loosing 4 wickets but then steadied themselves making over 150 before there 40 overs were finished, although it wasn't quite enough, the National Trust were declared winners!

For those not into cricket there were plenty of other options, a baking competition, tug of war, bug hunt, willow weaving, coconut shy and plenty more. There was an  unplanned water fight too, which the National Trust, represented by myself and ranger Maddie, definitely lost to the children of Reach! It felt like being in an episode of Downton Abbey, one of the ones from the end of the series where it is a lovely summers day, with a nice fete and cricket match!

Lois Baker
Community Ranger
Wicken Fen

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