At the sustainability exhibition last year I drew attention to a project in Twyford (Hampshire) where the parish council had created a bathing pool (complete with steps!) on the River Itchen (see photo).
And, “away from the river,” I wrote, “what facilities could we easily install in Wye which would preclude the need for villagers to travel outside the village to do exercise? A green gym (exercise equipment sited outdoors)? An outside BMX track? A bowls green?”
In the past year, these questions have been partially answered. Funding has been secured for a multi-use games area which will be built in the next few months on the village hall playing field. An off-road cycle path is also to be built covering some of the distance between Wye and Ashford.
But I drew attention to the bathing pool idea because it is something that I would very much like to see happen here (once the river has been cleaned up of course). If not a bathing pool, then at least greater use and access to the river for village residents.
This doesn’t mean that it will happen of course. Development of the specified site would require the cooperation of the landowner, will cost about £350,000 (for landscaping as well as the pool), and would also require some clean-up of the river if the water is to be fit for swimming.
However, given the amount of imminent development in the village (Wye 1, Wye 2 and Wye 3), it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that a bathing place could be constructed – paid for by developers in some way or another.
That would mean that we’d all have a place to cool off after the numerous leisure activities one can already do in the Village. Paddling? Ducks and Drakes? And ice-skating in the winter?