Owners' woodland plan could bring golf back to Thoulstone Park

Wiltshire Times: Owners James and Alka Hughes-Hallett Owners James and Alka Hughes-Hallett

The owners of the former Thoulstone Park golf course in Chapmanslade are in the process of creating a new English woodland on the site, with plans for hotel and golf facilities also in the pipeline.

James and Alka Hughes-Hallett started planting a total of 28,840 mixed English deciduous trees across 51 acres of the site in November, working in conjunction with the Woodland Trust and The Forestry Commission.

As well as the woodland, they hope to create an eco-community on the site, which will include the retention of a 10-hole pay and play golf course and an eco-friendly mixed use development.

The development, which they are calling the Thoulstone Park Eco-sustainable Community Development Project, could include a hotel, local produce shop and residential and work buildings.

Mr Hughes-Hallett said: “We have an ambition for this site which is very much guided by our ethos of sustainable, eco-friendly living.

“This first step of planting new English woodland on the site will bring us a step closer to our aim, and it will serve as a haven for wildlife, a source of renewable energy and as an asset for the local community.

“We will be having two volunteer planting days over the weekend of February 15 and 16 and anybody interested in coming along to do some planting can contact us for more details.”

The site was formally Thoulstone Park Golf Club until it ceased operation in 2002, while most recently it hosted Sunrise Festival in May, which attracted about 7,000 people over four days.

Woodland creation adviser for the trust Hamish Thomson said: “This is a fantastic project and when it’s completed, it will really be an outstanding example of a sustainable community showing how we can incorporate nature and new development, and make them work side by side.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the volunteer planting days can email info@thoulstonepark.co.uk

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