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Focus on Earley

Focus on Earley

31 March 2017
Photo of the accessible park at Sol Joel

Stretching from the M4 in the south to the bank of the Thames in the north, Earley is a place with much more than first meets the eye.

With much of the University of Reading, as well as the major businesses of Thames Valley Park (including Microsoft and Oracle Corporation) and Sutton Business Park, in its boundaries, Earley is at the cutting edge of technology, innovation and education.


But it is also a great place to live that provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature and great leisure facilities - with young people in particular well-catered for.


The green heart of Earley is the Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve, where the lake is a popular fishing spot (permits available from Earley Town Council) and visitors can enjoy a seasonal wildflower butterfly garden. The park also has an Interpretation Centre and a tern nesting platform installed last year with the support of the Earley Volunteer Group. The nature reserve itself is known as 'the jewel in Earley's crown' and is a beautiful mix of a lake, stream, wildflower meadow and woodlands. This area has a countryside feel despite having 10,000 people living within a ten-minute walk.


Other natural attractions in Earley include Meadow Park which also has a wildflower meadow as well as an aromatic garden and a couple of children's play areas and Marefield Pond. This is one of the few remaining farm ponds in the area and is now maintained by the town council. Football and other outdoor sports are provided at Laurel Park and Chalfont Park.


For the more active residents, Earley is also home to the Wokingham Waterside Centre at Thames Valley Park. The centre is a riverside, water sports and conference venue that offers canoeing, kayaking, katakanuing, bell-boating, dragon boating, stand up paddle-boarding and raft building. And indoor sports enthusiasts are catered for at the Loddon Valley Leisure Centre, which has two swimming pools as well as squash courts, badminton courts, tennis courts, a gym, sauna and steam room.


One of the town's hubs is the CResCent Resource Centre which provides home for many of the areas community groups as well as a base for training and adult education courses.


Young people are particularly well-provided for, with Earley Town Council organising youth activities at the Centrepoint Community and Youth Centre in the ASDA complex and the Silverdale Community and Youth Centre at Maiden Erlegh School.


Sol Joel Park has been developed by Earley Town Council to become a great fun destination for young people. It features a state-of-the-art skate park as well as Parkour (street running) park and a new children's play area.


Earley's residents benefit from a couple of popular annual events; the Earley 10k Run and the Green Fair that takes place in August in the Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve.


The Earley Green Fair is Earley's main annual community event. It has been running for more than 20 years at Maiden Erlegh Local Nature Reserve on the piece of grass that lies between Beech Lane and Maiden Erlegh Lake.

As its name suggests, the fair's main aim is to promote a greater understanding of environmental issues but the stalls are a mixture of environmental organisations, charity, and food and craft stalls for a village fete atmosphere as well as gently imparting an important environmental message.


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