MAYBUSH COPSE HISTORY

The four acres named “Winacres Farm” were what remained of a larger holding originally owned by Harold Green, consisting of 5 acres abutting the Lyndhurst Road and the forty odd acres stretching beyond the Recreation Ground towards the A36. Those forty acres were used for wartime testing of army vehicles and needed considerable work to restore the ground for agricultural purposes. Mr Green and his wife came from Woodfalls and called their holding Maybush Farm. Post-war planning prohibited building on this holding but Mr Green obtained an army hut, partitioned it into rooms, rendered it inside and out, put a slate roof on it and hey presto, a bungalow fit for habitation. After they died, the “bungalow” had to be demolished.

When Mrs Green took ill, Mr Green sold the forty acres and approximately 4 acres of the frontage to a George Winter (retaining one acre of woodland surrounding the bungalow). It was Mr Winter who renamed his holding as Winacres Farm (first 3 letters of his name) where he kept cows. He and his wife lived in a caravan and he was refused planning permission to build a house on the plot. However there was a wooden building on the plot and he partitioned that to provide further primitive living accommodation.

Farming is an uncertain livelihood. At that time Landford Common was owned by the Jewell family and there was the suggestion of the development of a satellite town to Southampton. Mr Winter agreed to sell the forty acres for a potential sewage farm for this development. Local objections scuppered this plan and Mr Winter was left with just his four acres, which was insufficient for his herd of cows. Meantime the Jewell family gained planning permission for the development of Beech Grange as compensation for the failure to proceed with the original plan for a satellite town. With that in mind, Mr Winter put in a planning application for 36 houses on the 4 acres still in his possession. After further objections, he was given permission to build just one bungalow fronting onto Lyndhurst Road.

The result was that Mr Winter decided to sell the land in 1962 to Edward and Dorothy Simpson, which included the permission to build their bungalow, now known as Winacres. Initially the Simpsons tried to live the “good life”, starting with 100 lay pullets followed by a litter of pigs. Not all went according to plan and they had to supplement their income by Mrs Simpson taking a job. It did not improve matters when Mr Simpson broke his arm. The winter of 1962/63 was especially hard with a long period of heavy snowfall just as they were getting started. Later on other family circumstances meant that they were often away from home. Consequently they eventually had to abandon their ideas of running a small holding as this was no way to live or make a fortune.

One day in 1980 Mrs Simpson saw a man walking over the land behind her bungalow. It was only when she asked him what he was doing there that she heard about the plan to build a school. Prior to that there was no notification or discussion by Wiltshire County Council (WCC)  about what they planned, or how they intended to obtain the land. Mr and Mrs Green had passed on and their 1 acre acquired by WCC, who probably assumed that the rest of the now wooded area was all part of the same plot. After somewhat bitter negotiations, the Simpsons sold the land adjacent to their bungalow between the Recreation Ground and Lyndhurst Road, providing a rectangular plot of approximately 1½ acres on which to build the school and a caretaker’s house. Following the decision not to proceed with the school project, WCC sold off the land adjoining Lyndhurst Road for the development of 3 dwellings.

It is now over 30 years since the area was used for agricultural purposes, and has consequently become overgrown with scrub and many trees have become well established. The plot has provided a refuge for wildlife including not only birds, but snakes including adders. In more recent years children have used part of the area as a natural playground.

In 2009 the parish council approached the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) to consider the options available for this piece of land. Thanks to the good offices of the Chief Executive of NFNPA, our Wiltshire County Councillor Leo Randall and help from the Southern Community Area Board , it was agreed that the land would be the subject of a community asset transfer, passing ownership to Landford Parish Council.

 

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