I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published January 15th 2017
Visit The Home Of The Coneys (Rabbits) And Enjoy Nature
The arrival of the year 2000 may not have resulted in the Millennium Bug feared by computer analysts and engineers around the world. But it did deliver a number of worthwhile millennium projects, not least the creation of a vital breathing space in the delightful village of Clifton Campville in the heart of Staffordshire.
Coneyberry Millennium Green is a much-loved and well used eight-acre site that was set up for the new millennium with the help of grants from both the National Lottery and the Countryside Commission. It was created for people to enjoy the countryside on their doorstep, with all the initial work carried out by local people. The site, which is run by the Coneyberry Millennium Green Charitable Trust, had been used as a combination of farmland and rough pasture right up until the end of the 20th century.
Situated alongside the parish church of St Andrew's, the site is divided into two meadows which previously existed as the north and south fields, with a path running between them. The larger of the two meadows, which still retains the ridge and furrow undulations left over from ancient farming practices, now provides an informal play area as well as being the venue for major local events such as the annual Clifton Campville Country Fair.
The lower area, which lies alongside the churchyard, is noticeable for the earthen mound which may be evidence of rabbit warrens dating back to medieval times which provided the church, and the village, with meat. In fact, the area's connection with rabbits, or coneys as they were otherwise called, may have led to the local well being called coney berry - and resulted in today's name for the Green.
The millennium sculpture sat on top of the earthen mound
At the centre of the mound is a tall sculpture called Joining which was created to commemorate the millennium and contains the initials of local children who were residents of the parish at the start of the 21st century. The mound is surrounded by four large stones, made from the same Staffordshire stone used to build the church hundreds of years earlier, which provide compass points for North, South, East and West.
Although the Green provides local people with a special focal point and a place to sit, walk or play - especially on the extensive play equipment, the site is also a vital haven for wildlife in the area. The Green is surrounded by hedgerows incorporating blackthorn, hawthorn, elder, and holly among others, while the wildflower meadows include species such as corn marigold and poppy.
At the northern end of the site bordering on Chestnut Lane lies an area of woodland formed mainly of native trees such as ash, oak, and hazel which were planted by local people. And in 2012 volunteers dredged a pond at the opposite end of the site and also built a dipping platform for children to get close to nature. Throughout the site several benches have also been provided for people of all ages to sit quietly and admire the spectacular views of the Mease Valley and beyond.