The object of Mapledurham Playing Fields Foundation, a charity, is to provide or assist in the provision of facilities at Mapledurham Playing Fields in the interests of social welfare for recreation or other leisure time occupation where such facilities are to be available to members of the public at large, with the object of improving the conditions of their lives.
The Charity with local residents who are invested in the community as Trustees was created in 2016 to support the refurbishment, improvement, running and maintenance of the Playing Fields and the Pavilion in order to ensure is becomes and remains a self-sustaining resource for the entire community.
This proposal is to enhance the facilities and operations at Mapledurham Playing Fields (MPF), without need to sell land to fund it. It is put forward, on behalf of a large group of volunteers who have collectively committed to dedicate their time, energy and expertise to ensure its implementation and sustained success, as an alternative to the proposal submitted by the Education Funding Agency (EFA).
In contrast to the EFA proposal this is not a one-time fix, which will eventually be exhausted, but a transformation to safeguard the long-term sustainability of the object of the trust, the provision and maintenance of a recreation ground. It builds on ongoing voluntary initiatives, which have already realised substantial achievements and demonstrate the strength of commitment of the community to the protection, maintenance and enhancement of MPF.
In 1938 Mr. C.E. Hewett gifted The Mapledurham Playing Fields on the understanding they be used forever for outdoor games, sports, and past-times for the purpose of a Playing Fields and Recreation Ground. Some information on the Charity, named Recreation Ground charity. Charitable trust number 304328, can be found either here or on the Charity Commission website at www.charity-commission.gov.uk As stated on the Reading Borough Council website, Reading Borough Council is committed to preserving and improving Reading Borough Council's parks and open spaces for generations to come. There are also many groups and committees in Caversham and Reading who are also committed to preserving the playing fields and seeing the Pavilion brought back to a good and usable condition. Mapledurham Playing Fields – Short History
1938 Charles Hewett gave land, in Trust under the Charity Commission, to the National Playing Fields Association with Mapledurham Parish Council as managers.
1940’s Wartime hut became War Memorial Hall
1975 New Community Hall built with the addition of changing rooms and tennis club room – Mapledurham Pavilion
1977 Local Government Reorganisation; part of Mapledurham Parish, including the Playing Fields, transferred to Reading Borough Council
1st Apr1979 Transfer of responsibility from National Playing Fields Association in Trust to Reading Borough Council
20th Sep1985 Charity Commission Trust Deed naming Reading Borough Council as Trustee
2005-2007 WADRA and the greater community of Cavesham and Reading ran a successful campaign to stop RBC from selling off land for housing and building a school on the remaining fields.
2007 Reading Borough Council Cabinet identified as Trustees
2007 (continues) WADRA working with RBC to ensure that RBC as trustees fulfill their obligations to the Charity including the filing of clear and accurate accounting
2010 Fundraising for the extension and refurbishment of the existing Pavilion begins
2015 After numerous successful fundraising events and activities, WADRA raised over £100k with a promise of a matching £100k from RBC. Unfortunately, the Education Funding Agency targeted MPF as a site for their new primary school. This lead to RBC refusing to release the promised funds for the pavilion refurbishment.
2016 The pavilion at MPF was closed by RBC due to safety concerns as it was not refurbished. It remains closed to the community and WADRA and other user groups continue to fund raise and campaign against the loss of land for development.
Caversham Trents Football Club
Warren and District Residents Association
The aim of WADRA shall be to preserve and protect the character of the area in which we have chosen to live and the surrounding district. Membership shall be open to all residents of the age of 18 or over, irrespective of tenure, in the area bounded by the dwellings in The Warren, St Peters Avenue, Upper Woodcote Road west side to the Borough boundary, including Blagrave Farm Lane and Blagrave Lane.
Since its formation in 1963, the Association has worked to preserve, protect, and enhance the character of the district where we have chosen to live. It provides an informed channel through which residents’ views may be expressed to the Local Council and more recently the Charity Commission and the Education Funding Agency. The Committee consults with Councillors and Officers: we montir and consider a wide range of issues including, planning, traffic, roads and pavements, trees, noise, Reading Festival, The River, Mapledurham Playing Fields and Pavilion.
For many years the Association has been highly involved in the preservation of the MPF Charitable Trust and the refurbishment of the Pavilion. Since 2010, WADRA has engaged in fund raising (of which a promise of matching funds was offered by RBC) and have currently over £100k in addition to RBC’s £85k.
WADRA also work extensively with other volunteer and charities in the community, providing events at which they can fund raise them selves, providing reclaimed food, clothing, towels, toiletries, shoes, boots, tents, sleeping bags and mats to Readings homeless and refugees farther afield.
Originally formed in 1956,Mapledurham Lawn Tennis Club is a thriving, family oriented tennis club based at Mapledurham Playing Fields and Pavilion. Currently with about 260 members, including approximately 70 junior players with 40 of those having weekly coaching. The Club runs 5 teams in the Oxfordshire leagues. With four well maintained courts, two of which are floodlit, and a club room with disabled access (and a newly built veranda, fencing, landscaping and surfacing). The Club provides free weekly coaching to special needs children (Addington) and also from MENCAP in Reading. The Club also provided assess to non-members via Pay and Play sessions.
Currently the club is in a holding pattern with their desire to provide coaching to wheelchair players as they are still waiting to install disabled toilets in the pavilion which is currently blocked by RBC
Econet is a wildlife conservation group that undertakes a wide range of activities relating to the conservation of the natural environment in public open spaces and other sites in and around Reading. These activities include coppicing, hedge laying, scrub clearance, control of non native species, footpath clearance and willow harvesting. We are part of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) Community Group Network and are supported by Reading Borough Council.
The Friends of Mapledurham Playing Fields were established in 1999 and operate within the ECONET umbrella of Volunteer Conservation groups in Reading.
Active membership has typically been 5-10 people, but with changing individuals over the 17 years of our existence. We schedule monthly work parties from Sept - April - thus avoiding disturbance to nesting birds.
You can also reach Econet on their Facebook page
Mapledurham Bridge Club is a friendly and welcoming club playing Duplicate Bridge. The club has been in existence for more than 40 years, playing weekly at Mapledurham Pavilion until the closure in 2016. Unfortunately we were not able to find suitable alternative accommodation in the Caversham/Reading area and now play at Mapledurham Hall at Trench Green.
The relocation did not suit all our members and as a result our membership has dropped by some 15%, to around 45, since having to move. The new location has also meant that not all members turn up as regularly as when we met at the Pavilion.
The club has a wide age range, many at the senior end and of mixed abilities. We meet every Thursday and new members are always welcome.
Escape Toddler Group
The Spiky Club
Magikats Tutor Group