Towles Fields Playing Field
A brief history
In 1970, Mr Leslie Towle, the farmer at Manor Farm in Burton, offered a field for the village to purchase at a nominal sum to be developed into a recreational area. The offer was accepted and there was a communal effort to clear the field of stones. To ensure that the field would be available for use by residents for perpetuity it was registered with the Charity Commission. The field remains a charity and is managed by a volunteer committee of trustees and representatives from the village and the clubs that use the field.
How the playing field looked in 1977
By 1973, the field was in use by a football club, a cricket club and a tennis club. The courts for the latter were one of the earliest facilities followed by a short basketball court and cricket nets.
Originally there was no play area – just a slide and swings. Over the years, items have appeared and been removed, but following a huge injection of grant money raised in 2006, (a big project that involved 10 different sources of funding and totalling £45,000) there is now a very comprehensive, fenced, play area. The play area undergoes an annual inspection by an independent ROSPA specialist and is monitored by a weekly check for wear and tear.
The more recent installation of the adult fitness equipment (July 2011) has further increased the field's potential for recreation and exercise. The PFA are grateful to the manufacturers, Caloo, for their help and the County Council for a Shire grant and Awards for All for assistance in financing this project. It is hoped that everyone in the village can derive benefit from this equipment and the other facilities the field offers.
The field is popular with walkers as it links with the village woodland and some local footpaths. Dog walkers are asked to walk their dogs round the edge of the field and prevent fouling. There has been a good response to this request. Incorporating a walk around the playing field with a walk through the Plantation (Burton's Community Woodland) is a pleasant experience at any time of year, with the views across the Soar valley to Charnwood and the ever changing flora and fauna to be seen in the woodland.
The Playing Field management committee work hard to maintain the field and the facilities in good condition. The committee welcomes input from the people in the village and the meetings (about 5 a year) are open to anyone with an interest in the management and use of the field. Dates of meetings are published on the notice boards in the village.
In 2012 the process was begun, using free legal help available to charities, to update the PFA constitution and to reduce the number of Trustees to 4. In addition, new football club licenses were requested. The trustees have registered the recreation ground with Land Registry to enable the field to become a Queen Elizabeth II Trust Field. This has already shown benefits as Fields in Trust (FIT) have awarded the PFA a grant towards improvement to the surface drainage.
Chairperson: Cath Thomson