Objectives and Vision

  • Objectives and Vision
  • Project 2000 - 2014
  • Beyond 2014


At the turn of the century, the village’s major employer sold up and left. At a stroke this halved the sports facilities available to villagers, leaving only those at the recreation ground. These comprised a run-down pavilion, a very badly drained football pitch, cricket and stoolball facilities and a children's play area. Gone were the Verdley cricket ground and pavilion, soccer pitch, bowls green and the tennis courts.
A major project was then envisioned which would restore - indeed improve upon - the previous facilities.


Immediately, to encourage Fernhurst sports clubs to bring detailed proposals, including finance, to The Trustees for the construction/development of new/improved facilities.

Ultimately, to provide and maintain sufficient, high quality sports and leisure facilities on the recreation ground to serve the basic wants and the higher aspirations of our village population.


That the recreation ground, as the focal point for outdoor sports and activities in the village, provides sports facilities of sufficient quantity and quality as to attract both widespread participation and the pursuit of excellence.

The Story So Far


Activity / Comment


AstraZeneca and Novartis announce that they are to merge their agrochemicals businesses to form Syngenta and that the HQ is to be in Switzerland. It is understood there will still be a presence in Fernhurst.


Syngenta decide to close their Fernhurst offices.

STRI Ground Survey confirmed that the clay top layer at the recreation ground meant that significant and costly work was required to ensure good drainage necessary for frequent winter use.


Proposed that bowls to be joined by tennis, a skateboard park and a multi-purpose area at the recreation ground.

FPC was asked to agree that all future outdoor sporting facilities in the village be located at the recreation ground.


 Considerations of a Skateboard and a Multi-Purpose hard facility were dropped due to lack of “champions” for them.


  1. Having taken advice from Consultants, CDC, the Football Association and others, a Total Project, including a drained football pitch, tennis courts, bowls green and a new pavilion, was developed at a cost of £1.5+million.
  2. Appeal literature was produced and private fund-raising began, which eventually produced £100,000+. At the same time, CDC said they would grant an amount we understood to be about £400,000, providing apparently willing, major Sporting Federations did likewise, first.


  1. In the face of delays in securing grants from the National Sports Assosiations, the £100,000+ was returned with thanks to the patient private donors, many of whom generously registered their interest in subscribing to a successor scheme.   

  2. To overcome the perceived problem of the sports clubs applying for grants for facilities that would then become the property of the Trust, a merger of the sports clubs into the Trust was negotiated and completed.

  3. By this time, the bowls club had disbanded.

  1. The Total Project per se was abandoned as it was clear that financial constraints etc were precluding National Sports Associations from making the necessary large scale grants.

  2. Accordingly CDC advised that the project should now be broken down to smaller sequential projects which they would support through their Large Leisure Grants Scheme.

  3. The tractor shed was rebuilt.

  4. Fundraising for the tennis courts began.


  1. Three new tennis courts were constructed at the recreation ground.

  2. CDC approved grants towards the extensive refurbishment of the pavilion and a new drained and level football pitch.

  3. Rob Peck took over as Chairman of the Football Club.

  1. Pavilion refurbishment completed, including equiping the kitchen.

  2. Fundraising for the new football pitch started.

  1. Fundraisng (£100,000+) completed by April and a new, level, draining football pitch largely completed by October.

  2. Football club obtained £5,000 grant over 5 years from Football Foundation for their development programme.

  3. Fundraising started for the circa £50,000 required for the construction of a modern 2 lane cricket net facility with bowling machine. By the end of the year £30,000 had been raised.

  1. Fernhurst in Training (fitness training sessions) and Fernhurst Golf Society formed.
  2. Saturday mornings at the Recreation Ground get busy,

    1. Fernhurst in Training, junior cricket and football sessions begin alongside the existing tennis roll ups.

    2. SKY installed in the pavilion allowing The Lions Tests, Ashes and Saturday Premier football to be shown.

    3. 'Donk's Cafe' serves bacon rolls and coffee to members.

  3. Cricket Nets opened by Sir Tim Rice.

  4. Fernhurst FC play South Coast Lions in the inugural match on the new football pitch. South Coast Lions included Guy Butters and Darren Anderton both ex-Portsmouth and Tottenham players.

  1. FiT, Fernhurst in Training continues on a Saturday morning. Normally there are 10 of the 20+ that use the class. FiT has been so successful that a Tuesday evening session has been introduced.
  2. Junior cricket has run throughout the summer. Over 60 juniors have signed up and attended these sessions.
  3. The cricket Sunday XI has been run to provide cricket for the older juniors (and their fathers). This has been very successful as on one occassion 22 Fernhurst players turned out for a friendly match when the opposition cried off.
  4. The football club has,
    1. Engaged a coach for the senior players.
    2. Introduced summer training for the senior teams.
    3. Advanced the successful Under 16 team of 2013 to the Under 18 league.
    4. From September engaged a new junior coach for the Saturday sessions.
  5. Donk's Cafe continues to provide sustainance for all parties when they have finished their sessions. 

Beyond 2014

Develop a new project for an extended, or new club house / pavilion, one that will reflect both the hoped for development of the sports clubs during 2013 -2015, and the financial generosity or otherwise of local councils and Fernhurst residents, to whom the Trustees and sports clubs are already grateful. This is a massive project, it is unlikely to begin until there has been 2-5 years of success for all the clubs, i.e. for everyone to be sure of the demand and support for it.

During 2015 and 2016 the junior sections of the tennis, cricket and football clubs have flourished. Several of the original juniors gaining recognition at district and county level going on to play in the senior sides. In fact so much so that the cricket club are now able to field a 2nd XI in the I'Anson League.

The demand for use of the the pavilion by all the sports clubs increases significantly season by season. Something was / is going to have to be done to meet the expectations of members and the governing bodies of  the sports.

Therefore thoughts have been turning to what can, should and will be done to address that expectation, discussions with regard the final phase of the orginal vision are once again to the fore.

Can we move from that to this?