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An Open Letter to UoR

This draft letter is intended to be circulated at the University, hopefully by the Students themselves. The current draft is HERE

Heritage and environment

It is known that there was a medieval settlement by the River Loddon at Hall Farm and that this was predated by the Neolithic (circa 4000 — 2,300 BC) ground and polished flint axe found on the bank of the River Loddon at SU 738 672.


People have lived near to or on the land known as “Hall Farm" for many years. This medieval settlement by the River Loddon included a manor house and a wooden church dating from Saxon times. These were part of the beginnings of the village of Arborfield and both were rebuilt, the church in the 13a century of flint and chalk, the manor house much later in 1605 and again in 1842.


The village developed and thrived — a mill using power and water from the river was built and this produced high quality paper. By 1829 two mills, one for corn and the other for paper, stood next to each other. Arborfield Hall was the centre of the village.

Hall Farm is a Green Field Site. Today it boasts valuable areas of Ancient Woodland, namely Loaders Copse, Gravel Pit Wood, The Gorse, Dog Kennel Copse, Brick Kiln Copse and Furzen Coppice (also known as Parsons Coppice}, as well as the recognized Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) of Loaders Copse and Gravel Pit Wood and The Holt.

Berkshire is setting up a Nature Recovery Group to encourage loical landowners to do more to support wildlife across Berkshire. Guess who is in the driving seat? Yes, our very own icon of all things sustainable, the University of Reading!

Barkham Parish Council and Arborfield and Newland Parish Council recently announced joint acquisition of 60 acres of The Coombes ancient woodland that sits along the boundary between the two parishes and very close to Hall Farm.

Bearwood Lake is a phenomenal natural resource that lies between The Coombes and Hall Farm, imagine if these rich and diverse natural habitats were all connected!

Hall Farm has the potential to be so much more than just another housing estate!

I have started to put together a document based on "Valued Landscapes", click the link below to download it.

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