Yardley Community Trust, led by local resident Fay Goodman, has been fighting to save two magnificent football pitches, community hall and nature corridor, bequeathed by the Barrow Cadbury Family in 1920 to the Birmingham Co-operative as a trustworthy guardian, under a covenant to protect and manage the site for the benefit of the local community. These precious green fields are located in Barrows Lane, Yardley within the boundaries of the ancient village of Yardley.

The playing fields have been under threat since 2013, when the site owners, Central England Co-operative first publicised their plans to dispose of the playing fields for housing. Yardley Community Trust, a partnership comprising residents, sporting groups, local Councilors and Jess Phillips MP, have been campaigning to prevent the loss of the playing fields and maintain use of the site for the health and wellbeing of the community.

Residents stand to lose a valuable sports and community facility including two full-sized football pitches which youngsters are desperate to play on. Local football clubs have been excluded from the site and their pleas to manage the facility have been ignored. Former Aston Villa and Blues football players Craig Gardener and Darren Carter, started their careers on these very football pitches and support the retention of the site for today’s youngsters and future generations.

The country has lost over 20,000 football pitches in the past 10 years so any support to help us save Barrows Lane Playing Fields become another sad statistic would be wonderful. The extraordinary impact of Covid19 has confirmed the importance of open green space to our health and wellbeing and the dangers around congested built up areas. Open access green spaces can help break the link between obesity and falling prey to Covid19, other benefits include:

  • Helping to alleviate serious health, wellbeing and mental health issues such as anxiety and social problems such as knife crime through youth sports engagement programmes.
  • Maintain a wildlife habitat for tawny owls, bats and hedgehogs as this land is part of a wildlife corridor.
  • Birmingham has the highest incidence of child asthma in the UK. A study of 350,000 GP medical records shows that people in urban areas who live within 1km of green spaces or parkland suffer less from respiratory diseases. Add to this that

The tragedy is we have enough brownfield sites to more than accommodate our housing shortage. We have also learnt that the four top building companies are banking green land with planning permission to generate profit for themselves.

Yardley Community Trust needs support in our campaign to retain this land for the purpose it was intended for. This support can range from professional expertise in facilities management, business planning, legal, architectural and fund raising. P

Please get in touch if you can support us and we would like to hear from other community groups fighting against the odds to prevent the loss of lands and buildings which provide community benefit – working together will get our voices heard by those in positions of power – unity is strength.

If you can help in any way please get in touch. Thank you!

Fay Goodman & Iftikar Karim
Yardley Community Trust
Tel 07976426463 Email [email protected]