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Focus on Hurst

Focus on Hurst

15 August 2016
Photo of Hurst

The rural parish of St. Nicholas Hurst is the largest in the Wokingham Borough covering some two and a half square miles.

Located between Wokingham and Twyford, a large proportion of the parish is open farmland with most of the 2,000 residents living in the three residential areas: the village centre, Forest Road and Davis Street.

Dinton Pastures Country Park also lies within the parish. We caught up with Maria Bradshaw, Clerk to the Parish Council, to find out more about the area.

"It's been a busy year in Hurst with many of our projects coming to fruition. One of the many highlights has been the refurbishment of the play equipment on School Road. It's a big investment by the Parish Council - more than £30,000 - and it's great to see how well used and loved it is by the community, already.

"The old equipment was past its best, and we now have fantastic, modern facilities which have been upgraded for all children - disabled and abled-bodied alike - to enjoy safely.

"For anyone driving through the village you may have spotted a village sign, which was unveiled by Rt Hon Theresa May MP. The sign, designed by local artist Sally Castle, reflects the heritage of our village from its early days when it was part of Windsor Great Forest.

"It took two years of research by members of the Hurst Village Society (HVS) to ensure the sign reflected the village history from the 11th Century church to the 21st Century duck house on the village pond.


"And entrance gates are coming soon, funded by HVS. They will be positioned on the A321 from Twyford to Hurst, and from Wokingham to Hurst another gate will be opposite Dinton Pastures, with the final one positioned on the Forest Road (B3034) near Binfield.

"A much-needed footpath has also opened. Known as Howard's Way, after local parish councillor Howard Larkin who worked tirelessly on this project, the new footpath means local children now have a safe route to school. And, to mark Her Majesty The Queen's 90th birthday, every pupil from St. Nicholas Primary School received a commemorative coin.

"We have strong links with the school and come together regularly. Recently the school's environment club joined councillors to plant flowers and shrubs around the pond.

"These are being enjoyed by anyone who sits on the brand new eight-foot long bench, another improvement by the Parish Council."

So what's planned for the future? The Parish Council is working with us in negotiating what's called a community asset transfer. If agreed it would see land at Church Hill transferred to the Parish Council and proposals are being drawn up, working in partnership with HVS to bring a community orchard to the village.

The Parish Council is also working with HVS to update the public rights of way map. This map will be a useful tool for anyone visiting the village and highlights all the footpaths bridleways and cycle routes in the area.

Wayne Smith, chairman of the parish council, said: "The secret of Hurst's success is its vibrant and fantastic community. In addition to the tireless work of many community organisations, we benefit as a parish from a wonderful cricket, football and bowls club which attracts members of all ages. 

"There is something for everyone and many people work passionately to provide a wonderful parish to live, work and play."

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