Introduction: How to Make a Village Green
A village green is a legal category of common land in UK law that is used for recreation, pig grazing, wood collecting etc. by local people.
An application to create a village green can be made if it has been used for: picnics, sports, dog walking, etc. [villagey activities]
most importantly for me - a village green cannot be sold off or developed, at least it makes this much much more difficult and in most cases impossible. Village greens are possible to create on any piece of disused land, I have started using a piece of land in Camden, London for an annual village fete in order to qualify for a village green application in 2035 [please feel free to attend].
Many cities in UK are being overdeveloped with expensive flats and private areas meaning locals are being pushed out and green space is lost, this isn't helped by the green belts that encase towns and cities and stop them growing , so I am trying to preserve forgotten and unused areas that will soon be precious due to constricting public and natural places inside the static city borders and trying to have a few events that people may enjoy in the mean time.
If the Instructables community can hold village fetes then we can have more fun and have more public space! I have created things that can be used in a village fete and they can be used by anyone - they are shared.
you can contact me via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 1: Find Disused Land
You will need to find you piece of land, there are some things to consider before choosing.
asides from being 'nice' or whatever, access needs to be considered as well as incognito possibilities - hosting a DIY village fete is a practise in sneaky anti-bureaucracy so incognito possibilities are crucial.
I have a website www.neglected.website that is an open source database and map for disused pieces of land, there are many possible places to host fetes marked on the maps. The maps are evolving so please upload newly found disused land to the maps by going to the location or nearby and clicking "save location" on the homepage [no registration needed].
Step 2: Advertise
Create some simple posters - I printed these in contrasting colours but then copied them on a photocopier specifying to use only magenta+black, Yellow+black, and cyan+black inks to make the bold colours, many photocopiers have this option.
We used the wheatpaste technique as described in this instructable:
it is cheap and effective, we had all of the posters, glue, and rollers in a box on the back of a dutch bike so it was quick to paste posters up and move on quickly - we got no hassle for doing this in broad daylight.
Step 3: Create Disguise
"we are just cleaning this dirty land officer"
When setting up a village fete you are likely to come under scrutiny from members of the public/police/security/other. So we created a simple disguise of a clean up operation, this wasn't just a disguise though because we used it as an opportunity to actually clean up all of the litter (about 10 bags) to benefit the piece of land for the future too!
The disguise is important because you must be able to hold the village fete for 20 years uncontested by the land owner in order to make the village green application.
The disguise is dependent on the piece of land but cleanup worked on a number of levels and the second hand hi vis jackets added authenticity as they had logos on the back.
Step 4: Contribute [if You Feel Like It]
I have made and compiled quite a few things that make the village fete possible to exist:
Signs & plaques, a coconut shy, a coracle, a battery pack & portable speakers, coconuts etc.
It isn't complete though and will improve if contributions are made, in the form of new concepts, new games and activities, modifications to existing games and activities etc.
if you would like to then please modify what exists in the village fete shared kit.
This is free to be used by anybody and is easily transportable, please contact me about it
Step 5: The Multi Terrain Coracle
I have made a coracle - a traditional basket style boat build by stretching canvas over a wooden frame and painting with bitumen
The coracle has a trailer that can be towed by a bicycle and all of the equipment to make the village fete fits inside the coracle. What this means is that you can take the shared village fete things anywhere via land and water, although the trailer is being improved.
You can use the coracle and I can help set it up, you can also find plans to make them yourself online although I haven't currently released a coracle trailer Instructable
Step 6: Hold a Fete!
You can setup the fete as you want, best to start early as it will probably take a few hours to setup depending on how many friends from your village community you have asked to help.
Try to make it friendly, inclusive, and accessible, and friendly for all ages.
Step 7: Clean Up and Go to Sleep
Make sure you take all of your rubbish with you and dispose of it responsibly, you can sleep well knowing you have [at least] tried to make something useful happen.
Step 8: Repeat
This needs to happen for 20 years as a minimum - this legislation was brought in to establish areas of land that had been historically used by the community for sports, walking, picnics, fetes etc. in the 60's and 70's.
Possibly neither one of us will be able to complete this tutorial fully and establish a village green but allowing more people to see this on the internet gives a better chance of using land in a useful way. Perhaps the village green will be used for something more useful and community minded than fetes when it is established.
Village fetes are a single idea but village greens can be created in other ways - I just thought this one was fun!
please move on to step 9 when steps 1 - 8 have been completed at least once a year for 20+ years.
Step 9: Make Application
I haven't done this yet but the information is readily available on the government website, I would also contact people who had experience of this before carrying forward.
here are some relevant links:
please contact me if you get this far, thank you!