The Finchampstead Society

About the Finchampstead Society

Mission Statement

The Society aims to retain the character of Finchampstead, promote improvement to the infrastructure and generate community spirit with events that entertain and inform.

Introduction

With a population of around 12,000, Finchampstead stretches from Sand Martins Golf Course in the North to the River Blackwater/Hampshire border in the South and from Crowthorne Station in the East to beyond New Mill Road in the West. See location

In 1976, the Finchampstead Society was created by residents concerned about the possibility of urban development threatening the rural charm of Finchampstead and the surrounding area. The primary concern of the society remains to protect, not just the members’ interests, but also those of the wider community and to ensure that we maintain the rural nature of Finchampstead.

The society’s first project was to carry out a study of the Parish of Finchampstead which, in 1977, was published in Finchampstead past, present and future. The study recommended a number of areas for action. Over the following years, undesirable developments have been challenged and improvements supported.

We continue to monitor all major planning applications but only oppose those that would significantly damage or degrade the local environment. The society maintains close liaison with the Parish and Borough Councils and participates in public inquiries where necessary. Past Campaigns have included:

Bramshill Forest

The society played a vital part in getting the government to reject plans to build 4,500 houses in Bramshill. This would have faced us with an additional 6,000 car journeys a day.

Land Banking

We successfully drew attention to our local and the wider UK threat from the so called Land Banking Enterprise. The UKLI company started selling strips of farm land at £20,000 each, giving the false impression it could eventually be built on. The society had articles published in The Guardian and The Financial Times ultimately resulting in the Department of Trade closing down the scheme.

Footpath along the Blackwater

By directly engaging with the gravel extraction company, we were able to have constructed a new footpath providing access to a significant proportion of the North bank of the Blackwater River. We continue to monitor the restoration of the excavated areas as they prepare to become nature reserves.

Walks

Finchampstead is fortunate in having one of the highest density of public rights of way in the country. Each year, the society organises a series of family walks around the local area.

Jones VC Trophy

Each year, the Society awards the Jones VC Trophy to individuals or groups who have been seen to make a major contribution to Finchampstead.

Social Events

The society runs a number of social events, where residents can meet in a friendly atmosphere. Activities have included quizzes, dances, dinners, visits, talks and lectures and wine and beer tasting evenings. We participate in the Finchampstead Village Fete and hold an annual Carol Concert.

Debates and Question Time events have included those prior to the election of the Police Commissioner, the EU Referendum and the General Election. New ideas for events are always welcome.

Wildlife

There is abundant wildlife in Finchampstead and the surrounding area. We have a large variety of birds, flora and fauna and the society is fortunate to have members with very relevant knowledge. The Moor Green Lakes nature reserve is situated along the Finchampstead side of the river Blackwater. Restored land at Manor and Fleet Hill farms will soon be joined to Moor Green Lakes to create a larger nature reserve which should become the first RSPB reserve in Berkshire.

Archive

Over the years, residents have amassed a large collection of historical documents and maps which are stored in The Finchampstead Society Archive. The Archive is housed in the FBC Library and is available for study.

Get involved

Members are kept up to date on the activities of the society and events and information relevant to their lives in Finchampstead by regular emails. If you wish to join the society, please click here for more information and a membership form.

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