The playing fields in Stonesfield are owned and managed by Stonesfield Playing Field Association CIO, a charity set up specifically for this purpose run by local trustees.
The facilities are an extremely well utilised village asset with two full-sized soccer pitches and various junior pitches used regularly by two senior mens teams, a womens squad and junior teams across the full age range. In Summer the field is re-purposed for cricket hosting two mens teams as well as a junior cricket squad. The facilities also host the tennis club with two courts, a children’s playground and the multi-use games area with its all-weather artificial grass surface.
Such heavy usage necessitates a significant amount of maintenance and upkeep of the grounds, nearly all of which is done by a small pool of volunteers.
The tractor that is used for a lot of the heavy-duty ground maintenance work was generously donated to the charity many years ago and has done fantastic service but it is now over 50 years old. It is also not ideally suited to the ground maintenance role it is being used for and has no cab, which makes its use during the wet and cold winter months a test of endurance for our volunteers.
We have therefore decided that now is the time to look for a replacement. We are looking to acquire a good quality used tractor with a cab that is specifically designed and set up for the ground maintenance role we need it for. We have been speaking with a specialist supplier of used tractors who have advised us that a reasonable budget for the type of vehicle we are looking for would be in the region of £24,000.
The charity’s financial position is not such that it can hope to make this purchase out of its own funds, although through a combination of grants from other bodies and some reserves the trustees have currently raised £14,000 towards the budgeted cost.