I WOULD like to thank the Reporter for alerting me to Kirklees Council’s proposals to take a whole field from the public of Mirfield to convert it into allotments. Despite walking on that field every day throughout the consultation period I have not seen or heard anything about the plans until now. These plans also explain the Council’s reluctance to cut the grass and weeds over the last 18 months or so.
Forty years ago this field was a football pitch adjacent to an adventure playground used by a large number of local children, including myself. Over the last 30 years, following the neglect and decay of the play equipment the site has been mainly used by children playing and dog walkers. The top field was planted with shrubs and trees to add some interest a few years ago and is enjoyed daily by many local people. It doesn’t matter what time of day I walk my dog, there is almost always someone else on the field at the time, even during the hours of darkness. The benches are often used by people looking for a quiet five minutes in pleasant surroundings and a lot of children still enjoy the space.
Over the last year a number of dog walking orders have been put in place in local public places and there are now very few areas where dogs can enjoy off-lead exercise –something which is necessary for happy, well-socialised pets. The majority of us are responsible dog owners who clean up after our dogs and need somewhere easily accessible where our pets can get some exercise.
This public open space should remain as such and not become a private area restricted to the lucky few who are given an allotment.