Information on maintenance and access to recreation areas in East Wichel
East Wichel has a range of open spaces. Many of these are primarily there for flood prevention — which they do well — but also provide a pleasant environment for residents and visitors alike.
The canal in East Wichel is maintained by the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, including maintenance of water levels, navigation rights, and inspecting the life belts along the towpath. Swindon Borough Council is responsible for the maintenance of the towpath, far bank of the canal and other major structures, and for funding replacement lifebelts.
Plans for the canal include joining up with the canal near Waitrose and extending the canal west from Wichelstowe towards Wootton Bassett and east of Wichelstowe towards Shrivenham. All these schemes are dependent on funding from developers of future housing areas.
The lakes and surrounding land to the west of East Wichel are maintained by Swindon Borough Council. The main purpose of these lakes is flood prevention. After heavy rain the water level may rise over the footpaths around the lakes: this is by design and does not indicate a drainage problem. There is a small car park for visitors to this area off Barbrook Road.
There is a children’s play area that can be reached from Fernacre Road.
There are two small greens within East Wichel. The Village Green is at the west of the village between East Wichel Way, Trecastle Road and Offerton Road. The other green is at the centre of the village between East Wichel Way, Stannon Lane and Culborne Road.
Until the end of March 2017, grass cutting of the main public areas was the responsibility of Swindon Borough Council. Since April, the borough council have offloaded this task onto parish councils. In East Wichel this is Swindon South Central Parish, but in the area to the immediate west of East Wichel it is Wroughton Parish Council. However, for the moment the area around the lakes and the canal remains the responsibility of Swindon Borough Council, and responsibility for grass cutting of verges on some streets remains the responsibility of Taylor Wimpey.
Angling rights on the lakes have been leased by the canal trust and council to the Plaum’s Pit Angling Club. Day tickets are available from the club. They have a Facebook group for fishing at the lakes. Fishing from the canal towpath is not permitted. Anglers are not permitted to interfere with wildlife around the lakes, such a cormorants or otters.