The Downton Society - new members needed
The Downton Society is looking for new and active members. Their main focus is on conservation, but this does not mean that they oppose change, rather that members feel strongly that it must be balanced and sustainable. Much of the village is in a Conservation area and there are many listed buildings, so there are extra planning hoops to jump through. Whilst the Society might object to some proposals, they are just as likely to support others.
They opposed the recent Formula Land planning proposal opposite Trafalgar school for a range of reasons including safety and its environmental implications. Members are participating in the current updating of the Neighbourhood Plan with the aim of promoting planned and sustainable development, which takes account of infrastructure needs. A spokesperson for the society said: " We support the provision of truly affordable homes for local people; and, in rejecting the plans of large-scale developers (who, motivated by profit, offer homes that are not, in reality, 'affordable') seek to promote alternatives. Our task may become harder given possible government changes to planning and environmental laws and standards, but we believe it's worth doing."
The Society funded and installed the topiary cuckoo, which is now back on the Borough Green - and plants up the tubs on the Borough Greens too. In conjunction with the Parish Council, they maintain footpaths and are placing name plaques on historic paths. They get involved in projects to improve the environment (from bridge cleaning to litter picks) and support others with similar aims.
The funding for the society comes from members' subscriptions and occasional events, such as the recent wine tasting evening. They also engage with the Salisbury Civic Society, which has a programme of talks, walks and visits.
The spokesperson continued: "Downton is an Avon Valley village which is rich in history and set in a diverse natural habitat. Whilst being totally realistic about change, the Downton Society seeks to protect this setting for the benefit of all, and will work with other groups to ensure a pleasant environment for our community and for future generations. If you are interested in sustainable development, the history of the area and ecology, we could do with your help. Why not join us?"
Topiary cuckoo 'Hedgington'
.....tubs on the Borough Greens......