Emma Back

  • signed WCC Open Letter 2021-08-03 20:17:12 +0100
    We need to protect our precious green spaces!

    Protect Winchester's open spaces for future generations!



    Open space, greenery, nature and wildlife are of vital importance to human health and happiness. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown this into sharp relief. During the UK lockdowns, parks, recreation grounds, nature reserves and other green areas provided some respite from confinement. Since then, open spaces have offered the principal means of spending time with family and friends while maintaining “social distance”. Yet, the post-COVID recovery could threaten these very spaces, with the government’s emphasis on “build build build”[1] yielding new housing targets and planning laws[2] that will make development far easier.

    The city of Winchester is surrounded by beautiful countryside, some of it protected through designation as national park or nature reserve or “site of special scientific interest”. Within the city’s settlement boundary, however, the publicly accessible open spaces are fairly small and only a few have limited forms of protection. Several sites listed in the 2016 Local Plan Open Space Strategy have since been developed (e.g. The Valley), as have some areas designated as “locally listed historic parks and gardens” (e.g. Pitt Manor).

    The city’s main public sports pitches and recreation grounds sit just outside the settlement boundary. They have remained relatively unthreatened while designated as “countryside”. However, only two sets of playing fields, King George V in Highcliffe and the neighbouring Garrison Ground, are legally protected with Fields In Trust. Community mobilisation has been essential to the process of getting these areas properly protected.

    Similar efforts to protect other key areas of recreational open space in and around the city should be considered NOW, in light of the proposed new planning laws. Sites within or just outside the current settlement boundary are particularly vulnerable to development pressure. In addition to long-term protection, some sites could be enhanced through biodiversity management, whereas others would benefit from new recreational facilities or other measures to support public access and use.

    [1] 10 Downing Street (2020) ‘Build build build’: Prime Minister announces New Deal for Britain press release, 30 June 2020, link

    [2] Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (2020) Planning for the future consultation, 6 August 2020, link


    21 signatures

    We are asking Winchester City Council to extend legal protection to all public recreation grounds, sports pitches and parks across the city of Winchester. As a priority, Fields In Trust designation should be sought now for the following open spaces:

    North Walls Recreation Ground (including Devil's Island)

    Stanmore Recreation Ground

    St Matthew’s Field, Weeke

    Chilcomb sports ground

    St Giles Hill

    Oram’s Arbour

    Abbey Grounds


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  • published COWfest 'lite' in 2021 in COWfest 2021-02-06 18:17:33 +0000

    COWfest 'lite' in 2021

    Sadly, we cannot hold a full Children of Winchester Festival (COWfest) this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    However, you don't have to miss out – we have lined up some FREE family fun for half-term in our 2021 online COWfest-lite!

    There are live and pre-recorded activities available, for all ages. With a big thank you to the Hampshire Cultural Trust, Treasure Gymnastics, Salsa y Sol, Mimosa Montessori and Little Blossom Yoga.

    Check out the programme below:



    10:30 to 11.15am

    Marine life craft – with Lindsey from Hampshire Cultural Trust. Let’s go and see the Sea! Create your own sea creatures at home. 🐬

    FREE! Suitable for ages 4 to 10. Book here (only one ticket needed per family). 🎨

    Class will be held on Zoom. Parent/carer will be emailed a link.

    All you will need is… Paper/card; Scissors; Sticky tape; Sharpie Pens or colouring pencils; Crayons or paint; Silver foil; Paper plates; Toilet roll tube.

    11.00 to 11.30am


    Dancing Fun – with Salsa y Sol. Dance your heart out to dance tracks you love! 💛

    DONATION (pay what you wish; class is usually £7 per family). Suitable for the whole family. Book by email to s[email protected] with name/age(s). Donation by BACS: Salsa y Sol 30-99-71 00026608 ☀

    Class will be held on Zoom. Parent/carer will be emailed a link.

    11.45am to 12.15pm


    Yoga – with Salsa y Sol. Do you know how much Super Power you have inside of you? Wake up your Inner Super Power with our Hatha Flow Yoga for Youngsters! 🧘‍♂️

    DONATION (pay what you wish; class is usually £7 per family). Suitable for the whole family. Book by email to s[email protected] with name/age(s). Donation by BACS: Salsa y Sol 30-99-71 00026608 ☀

    Class will be held on Zoom. Parent/carer will be emailed a link.

    1.30 to 2.15pm


    Mask making – with Lindsey from Hampshire Cultural Trust. Join in the COWfest creative fun by making some colourful paper masks. 🎭

    FREE! Suitable for ages 4 to 10. Book here (only one ticket needed per family). 🎨

    Class will be held on Zoom. Parent/carer will be emailed a link.

    All you will need is… Paper/card; Felt tips/paint/crayons., anything to add colour! Scissors; Glue/sticky tape; String; Templates provided by download.

    2.00 to 2.45pm


    Give gymnastics a go – with Jess from Treasure Gymnastics 🤸‍♂️

    FREE! Suitable for ages 5 to 11. Book here🤸‍♀️

    Class will be held on Zoom. Parent/carer will be emailed a link.

    All you will need is… Space to move; loose clothing; water to drink.

    3.00 to 3.45pm


    Paper puppets – with Lindsey from Hampshire Cultural Trust. Do you love making up stories and putting on a performance? Have fun making paper puppets and a woodland stage backdrop and put on a puppet show! 🎨

    FREE! Suitable for ages 4 to 10. Book here (only one ticket needed per family). 🎨

    Class will be held on Zoom. Parent/carer will be emailed a link.

    All you will need is… A3 card or box to make your theatre; Split pins; Paint/pens/ crayons; Tissue paper and glue; Scissors; Sticky tape; Wooden skewers (parent supervision on the pointy bit) or lollypop sticks; Templates provided by download.



    Yoga for toddlers

    The Snail and the Whale – with Little Blossom Yoga 🧘

    A yoga story for all the family to enjoy, inspired by Julia Donaldson's 'The Snail and the Whale' – listen along and enjoy yoga postures, breathing activities, bonding fun and relaxation to try at home with your little ones! 🐌🐳

    Watch here 

    Find out more about Little Blossom Yoga at www.littleblossomyoga.co.uk or on Instagram @littleblossomyoga 

    Painting workshop


    Painting workshop inspired by Alma Thomas – with Mimosa Montessori 🎨

    For children age 6+. Create your own circular painting in the style of Alma Thomas, and learn about her life and how she uses colour to create impact in her art. 🎨

    Watch here

    Find out more about Mimosa Montessori on Facebook @MimosaMontessori or Instagram @mimosa_montessori



    For lots of great kids' activities and other resources, check out Hampshire Cultural Trust's 'Culture on Call' website, with its Kidzone here

    Here are some of our favourite activities:

    • Learn to make a bird feeder out of pine cones here
    • Find some beautiful Winchester Cathedral and King Alfred's statue colouring sheets here
    • Create your own piece of history by making a family time capsule here

  • published Winchester Community Sport Alliance 2018-05-24 19:53:34 +0100

    Join the Winchester Community Sport Alliance

    Winchester SALT has set up a new local network for those involved in community sport in the Winchester area: the Winchester Community Sport Alliance.

    The aim of the Winchester Community Sport Alliance is to:

    • help the community sport sector to engage in the development of new or improved sport and recreational facilities in Winchester, including the new sport and leisure park planned for Bar End
    • help community sport sector organisations to share information and resources, including through the Winchester ClubHub
    • help community sport sector organisations to get involved in local events, including the annual Children of Winchester Festival (COWfest) and the Winchester Community Games

    By "community sport sector organisations" we mean the local clubs, charities and small enterprises that provide sporting opportunities to people in the city of Winchester and surrounding area. Any such organisation can join the Alliance, as can individual supporters of the sector.

    Please check the relevant box to let us know whether you are a sports club, sports enterprise, charity or individual when you sign up – and please let us know the name of your organisation, or if you're signing up as an individual then please tell us which city/town/village you live in. Thank you!

    You can expect to receive occasional newsletters, updating you on key developments in the community sport sector and outlining opportunities for you to engage. Of course, if you no longer want to stay in touch, you can unsubscribe at any time.



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  • signed Tesco Open Letter 2016-01-18 18:40:46 +0000

    Tesco PLC: Give Winchester a Sporting Chance

    This campaign was successful!

    Further to the Open Letter and discussions with Tesco PLC, the company agreed to sell the Garrison Ground to Winchester City Council in December 2016. The council then committed to safeguard it for sport and leisure use, and has developed an 'urban design framework' that incorporates the Garrison Ground into a Winchester Sport and Leisure Park with sports pitches and play areas alongside new indoor facilities. 

    We have fed into the consultation process for the park, and encouraged Winchester City Council to protect all remaining playing fields at Bar End with Fields In Trust. THEY HAVE NOW AGREED TO DO SO! (as of early 2020)

    Thank you to all who supported these efforts!


    FAO: John Allan, Non-executive Chairman, and Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive, Tesco PLC

    735 signatures

    Dear Sirs

    We write as concerned residents of Winchester in Hampshire, to ask for your support.

    As you may know, Tesco PLC owns land at Bar End, Winchester, which is on your asset disposal list. This land was put forward for housing development – presumably by Tesco PLC – via the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) for Winchester's Local Plan. 

    Tesco PLC's land at Bar End, known as The Garrison Ground, is a prime sport and recreational venue for our community. It is home to the Winchester City Flyers women's and girls' football club and the Winchester and District Girls Football League, as well as to Winchester Amateur Boxing Club. It supports grass training for the Winchester and District Athletics Club, and every year hosts events ranging from Cancer Research UK's 'Race for Life' to the local Fun Fair. It's also an important venue for kickabout football, informal play, and dog walking.

    The ongoing use of the Garrison Ground for sport and recreation is essential to our community. The City of Winchester has a shortfall in sports grounds of more than 11 hectares, and desperately needs new publicly accessible swimming pools, sports halls and synthetic turf pitches, to meet the requirements of a growing population and in particular increasing numbers of children and young people. Certain facilities – such as those for gymnastics – are completely absent from the local area. Bar End is the best place for any new facilities, but we will need to retain as much open space as possible there too.

    In short – we cannot afford to lose the Garrison Ground to housebuilding or to any other non-sports related development. 

    Please will Tesco PLC work with us, the residents of Winchester, to protect the Garrison Ground and to develop a community sport and recreational hub at Bar End?

    Your land could make all the difference to the future of our City and District. Please give us, and our children, a sporting chance.

    To all signatories: you can sign with your name and email address (or phone number if preferred). Upon signing, you will receive a thank you email, which includes an option to unsubscribe from further updates. Thank you for your support!

    Add signature

  • published COWfest in COWfest 2015-12-21 12:05:09 +0000

    What is COWfest?

    COWfest is the Children of Winchester Festival, and it will run for the first time in 2016! It's all happening on the weekend of 13th and 14th February, at the Tower Arts Centre at Kings' School. The aim of COWfest is to showcase local talent and bring new audiences to Winchester's youth arts providers, and to give children a chance to have a go at different creative activities through workshops. We also hope for local young people to be involved in planning and marketing the festival. We are starting small in 2016, but our aim is to develop the festival over the coming years and to make it a regular feature of Winchester's festival calendar.

    Check out the details of workshops and performances as we post them here, and join in the fun!

    If you are are aged 14+, you can volunteer to help at COWfest 2016 by completing a short online form here

  • published COWfest 2015-12-21 12:02:52 +0000


    COWfest 'lite' in 2021
    Posted by · February 06, 2021 6:17 PM · 1 reaction

    2020 festival programme
    Posted by · January 21, 2020 10:05 PM

    Support COWfest 2020!
    Posted by · January 10, 2020 3:25 PM · 1 reaction

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