Maidstone Borough Councillors Brian Clark and Derek Mortimer have, as trustees of Hayle Park Nature Reserve, secured a 50 year lease on former landfill site in Dean Street, Tovil. The trust now plans to extend their work at Hayle Park Nature Reserve at the 28 acre site which will include wildflower meadows in areas where public access will be limited (a separate section which was not used as landfill will be left as publicly accessible open space). The field, which is positioned between the Loose Valley and Medway Valley "Landscapes of Local Value", includes naturally formed ponds and has been untouched for so long it has already become a haven for wildlife.
Cllr Paul Wilby, chairman of Hayle Park Nature Reserve stated, “This has been several years in the making and it is great to finally be in a position to gain the site for the trust. As this was used as a landfill site, KCC will continue to monitor the site but they have been supportive of our ambitions for throughout."
Cllr Brian Clark, who had initially worked with KCC to establish a new footpath designation within the site to improve safety along Dean Street, expressed some relief, ”This is a great outcome, there has been much speculation about potential plans at the site, especially after it had been included in a submission to Maidstone’s call for sites.”
Following the signing Cllr’s Derek Mortimer commented “Cllr’s Clark, Wilby and I have had to navigate a number of complex issues with Maidstone Borough Council and KCC to reach this position. We are delighted that we could finally reach agreement to protect the site.