In just a couple of days the action group aiming to prevent a popular open space being sold for development have used crowdfunding to raise almost half of the £30,000 they reckon is needed to buy it themselves ahead of its auctioning off tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.
Pump Field is nearly five acres of meadow, nicknamed “buttercup meadow” by many due to it’s summertime flowers.
It is an open space used by many locals and in COVID restrictions especially it provided a perfect outdoor meeting place close to the town but away from more crowded areas. In winter it’s a popular place for families to go sledging.
An action group named Llangollen Green Spaces formed to spearhead fundraising and buy the land to secure it for the community into the future.
The group’s vision is to “safeguard green spaces in and around Llangollen for public access and community use and to improve biodiversity”.
Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon more than 20 people turned up at the field to plan the campaign.
Group spokesperson Sarah Marshall said: "We have now raised nearly half the amount needed on Crowdfunder in only a couple days, so that’s thanks to people of Llangollen.
"We we also have some reasonably substantial pledges outside of the Crowdfunder as some people are happier to do that.
"Among those who have made pledges are the local MP Simon Baynes and Senedd Member Ken Skates."
She added: "Our aims are to protect Pump Field from property development, secure it for public use and enhance the area for biodiversity and food production.
"The Green Paw project have already pledged £50,000 (the auction starting price) for this land, any funds raised will be additional to help improve our chances.
"Green Paw will put up a maximum bid up to whatever money has been pledged on this Crowdfunder (and private pledges) at the auction start time.
"If we are not successful at auction 100% of the money will be fully refunded. In the event of us winning the bid at auction, any additional funds will be put into a pot for the social and ecological development of the land as outlined below.
"People are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly if they would like to discuss donating via a pledge that's only enacted if the bid is successful.
“We don’t have much time to secure this field for the town, as bidding closes at 3pm tomorrow. We have tried contacting the owner for more time and we set up crowd-funding for a collective bid in order to try and prevent it being developed, as so much of the land around the town recently has.
"Local people need outdoor places to exercise, play and relax, and we really don’t have many open spaces like this within walking distance. We are also applying to register the paths across the field as public rights of way. Anyone who may be able to help is welcome to make contact."
Green Paw Project spokesperson Ste Chesters said: “We would love to work with the community in Llangollen to secure a future for this land that keeps it accessible and showcases a regenerative approach to land management."
As of this afternoon (Monday) a total of £13,435 had been pledged, with Simon Baynes down for £50 and Ken Skates £40. An anonymous donor pledged £2,000 while a number of people have signed for £1,000 apiece.
* The link to the crowdfunding website is: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/protectpumpfield