History of the Colne Valley Park
In March 1965 the Town Clerk of Hillingdon submitted a report drawing attention to the existence of large areas of gravel pits within the borough and suggesting their use for various forms of water recreation for which there was an extensive demand.
In November of the same year a letter was sent from the Greater London Council referring to the potential of the Colne Valley for recreation and leisure purposes. A conference of the authorities affected by this proposal was held on the 17th of December 1965 where a working party of officers was set up.
The boundaries were drawn to include all the open land visible from the valley floor between Rickmansworth and Denham, rounded off to conform to recognisable features. The eastern boundary was defined by the existing development and the southern by the River Thames. The western boundary was defined by development at Langley and Datchet and then runs roughly parallel to the River Colne taking in Langley Park and Black Park. The Misbourne Valley below Chalfont St Peter was also included.
The boundaries remain broadly similar today, although the area has increased from 25,000 to 27,500 acres. Additions have included land north of Staines town centre, an area near Langley and areas near Gerrards Cross and Chalfont St Peter.
The Colne Valley Park Community Interest Company
The Colne Valley Park has recently reviewed its governance and operations to ensure that protection, management and enhancement of the green belt can be sustainable for the next 50 years and beyond. A new Colne Valley Park Community Interest Company (CIC) was formed on 5th July 2012 to deliver the 6 objectives of the Park:
1) To maintain and enhance the landscape
2) To safeguard the countryside
3) To conserve and enhance biodiversity
4) To provide opportunities for countryside recreation
5) To achieve a vibrant and sustainable rural economy
6) To encourage community participation.
The Colne Valley Park CIC will manage the Park with the following core attributes:
· To be central to spatial planning including the creation of a shared spatial vision for the Park designed to manage and create opportunities for positive change.
· To represent the views of its members from community groups to parish councils, local authorities, charities and private companies. To ensure that the ‘cast of thousands’ involved in the park have a voice and a feeling of ‘ownership’.
The organisation will have the following powers:
· Be able to hold funding ‘in trust’
· Ability to own/lease land and buildings
· Ability to trade and borrow to support the key aims.