Rushden Village Greens
News on Planting
"The first of the three phases of remediation of Southern Green has now been completed by the planting of a mixed English hedge. The plants in it are quickthorn, blackthorn, field maple, hazel, crab apple, dog rose and dogwood."
UPDATE 13th April 2021
At the Rushden Parish Assembly on 13th April 2021, a new team of village green trustees was created.
Continues as a trustee and as the primary contact for matters relating to Southern Green
Has been appointed as primary contact for matters relating to Church Green
Has been appointed as primary contact for matters relating to Shaw Green
An updated outline of the Trust, based on one from when the Greens were registered, follows below. This has been approved by the new team who will notify further developments and management plans once they settle in.
Southern Green, Church Green and Shaw Green have title registered at the Land Registry. A copy of the land register itself can be seen together with extracts from the official plan showing the boundaries of each of the Greens.
Noted on the registered title are deeds granting rights-of-way (and sometimes rights for drains pipes wires et cetera) where residents in the past have wanted a formal document. The need for such a document is becoming a requirement of mortgage lenders, more and more and often eases the process of selling a house to someone who has not been used to living in a country area. Deeds can provide not only for rights of access and to have services running across the green but also the ability to access those services for repair and maintenance, which is not a responsibility of the trustees. Other properties may have the benefit of rights to pass across the green, simply through use for a long time although there are some old “leases” or licences where past trustees gave permission for access and so rights cannot be acquired by long use. The formal deeds first referred to above, continue to benefit the property even when there is a change of owner.
On 6th February 1931, Southern Green, Church Green and Shaw Green were given to trustees by the then owners, “upon Trust that the Trustees shall forever hereafter stand seized of the premises hereby conveyed to preserve the said lands as open spaces for the purpose of recreation of the inhabitants of Rushden ...may manage or let the said land for the purposes aforesaid and there shall be vested in them absolute discretion as to the type of recreation to be permitted on each of the said pieces or parcels of land”
Unfortunately, although the Trustees were given land and duties, there is almost no income with which to carry them out! A small payment is received annually for an electricity wayleave and a once and for all payment for telephone lines and cables was obtained instead of a tiny annual rent. A modest fund has been built up over the years, which takes a substantial hit when trees need maintenance. We do some work and welcome assistance from residents who do some maintenance or grass cutting.
The Greens are also registered as Common Land but not because separate public rights
have arisen from long use to be exercised without reference to the Trustees’
ownership. In essence, the land is private but the Trustees have a duty to keep it open and residents of Rushden may have the amenity of it within the terms of the Trust Deed
The basic and main position is that the greens should not be obstructed. Deeds granting rights of way do not add to the title of the house which benefits. Drives remain part of the open space and available for villagers to ramble where they wish. Neither drives nor the greens themselves are car parks (although there is no objection to deliveries, workmen’s vehicles or a specific “party type” need for occasional parking).
We would like to take this opportunity to keep in print for future guidance (and to provide something which owners may hand over when selling), what we see as good use of the Greens and maintenance plans.
Please see the comments above under the heading “Legal Position”. There is no right to park outside property boundaries.
Hedging and trees
Hedges have expanded and thickened. Boundaries need to be restored to correct advances made over the years. These are after all Village Greens. We would like to see boundary hedges maintained with English native species.
Southern Green and Church Green are in the village Conservation Area with the
consequence that trees are protected. Only the Trustees should be involved in any
attention which may be needed to those on the Greens.
We are happy to leave mowing as a personal preference.
Please do not put stones poles or planking at the edge of the Greens or along
drives, in spite of the inability of some couriers etc to keep to hard surfacing. The
Greens do recover in spring/summer.