Playing field group call 'foul' over its overgrown state


Staff reporter (Border Counties)

A COMMUNITY playing field remains at the centre of a dispute as a disagreement over its maintenance rumbles on.
Morton playing field, located just outside Oswestry, is held in trust by the wardens of Morton Church, who oversee the maintenance of the field.
But the condition of the field has been at the centre of an ongoing argument between the church wardens and the Morton Playing Field Committee, who say it has become overgrown and can’t be used by the community or local sports teams any more.
John Killick, one of the original members of the Morton Playing Field Committee since it was founded in 1983, said the field is “in a disgraceful state.”

“It can’t be played on. The managers are failing in their duty,” he continued. “They need to manage the field to benefit the local community because they hold it in trust. They are preventing it from being leased they are not performing their duties for the benefit of the local youth,” he added.
However, Elizabeth Lawrence, a warden of Morton Church, said the wardens do their best to maintain the field for recreational use, following instructions in legal documents signed when the field was first purchased more than 80 years ago.
She said: “It had been cut out of goodwill by local farmers until last year. But the thing is we don’t have to maintain it to the standard of a rounders pitch or a football field. It is outlined that the field is for recreational use, that means it could be a woodland glade, a park or a meadow.
“We do what we can and we try and cut it when we can. There’s no money in this at all, we don’t get any money for doing this. The field being held in trust has nothing to do with Morton Church whatsoever, so we do not use their money.
“I used to like the kids playing on the field and I think it is sad they no longer play there.
“We don’t know what we are going to do now. We need to get a group who are willing to talk and realise the church wardens are doing their best. We would be more than happy for them to help look after the field,” she added.

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