Early History of the Millennium Green


Planning for something to mark the Millennium Started in 1994.  The opinions of the village were canvassed and 50% of the village responded to a questionnaire with a large majority of those in favour of a Green.  The Countryside Agency put up roughly half the money of the initial £100,000 budget.  The Vale of the White Horse stepped in to fund the purchase of the land.  At the same time the Parish Council agreed to purchase the land next to the Green for use as an informal sports ground.  The remainder of the budget for the establishment of the Green was met by the Trust for Oxfordshire Environment and the Hanson Trust.

A village Trust was set up to administer the Green and the purchase of the land was finalised in February 1999. The Green was landscaped by White Horse Contractors and the initial planting was supervised by Jenny Steel a well known local ecologist and garden designer. Over two thousand trees were planted over the winter of 1999-2000 and the grass and wild flower meadow seeding was undertaken by local farmers David Christensen and Paul Weaving.  The pond was dug and an elegant boardwalk built around two sides by local woodworker Dan Barton. Many villagers and local businesses helped with this stage of the formation of the green contributing materials and labour.

After a particularly dry summer during which the new trees had to be continually watered, the Millennium Green was officially opened on 10 September 2000. Over three hundred people attended the opening in bright sunshine and enjoyed the exhibitions of local crafts. Within the Green, the Millennium feature is a local Queen Cox apple tree (the site used to be an orchard) set at the head of a level stone maze.  A history of the village is on the main board at the entrance to the site.

As the years have passed the trees have grown and the vision of the founders of the Green has begun to become a reality.   Other features have been added to the Green.  The Women’s Institute raised the funds to install a human sundial on the top of the Mound.  After a further fundraising campaign in 2007, money was raised to build a long pathway around the sports field and through the ancient woods to the east, the site of the historical earthwork Aelfrith’s Dyke.  This has been well used and encouraged an increasing number of joggers to use the Green.