The Moats - Restoration Plan

July 30, 2017


The Moats is one of several green spaces on Lea Park, situated on Cromwell Avenue near Barley Hill School. With mature trees and undulating grass, it is an attractive and popular recreation area.

However in recent years we have lost 30% of the trees, the most recent during a storm earlier this year. The consequence is not only ugly stumps but also a raising of the water table such that some areas remain boggy most of the year. The Council are unable to maintain these areas and they present a potential health and safety hazard.

Thame Town Council owns this site and is keen to work with LPRA to restore the Moats to its former glory. Before any new tree planting can be done, we need approval from Historic England, which lists the Moats as a protected site of historic importance. We are pleased to report that this approval has been secured with stipulations about the location and species chosen.

The plan is to apply for Council funding to grind out existing stumps and plant mature trees in these locations. Additionally it is proposed to erect a notice board to provide information on the Moats history. Potentially this notice board could provide other information, map and location of other recreation areas.

The history of the Moats is somewhat obscure and was thought to date back to medieval times (before 1500).However, excavations in 1973 prior to the start of building of Lea Park identified a series of fish ponds dating back to the 17th century with the Moats as part of the water system feeding into the ponds. In Victorian times it is believed the Moats became a water garden  associated with a local manor. Research continues to provide information for our proposed notice.

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