29 March 2012 You are here:

Secretary of State for Environment visits Hadleigh Farm

Three people chatting overlooking fields

Secretary of State for Environment visits Hadleigh Farm Olympic Mountain Bike Venue at The Salvation Army Hadleigh Farm

Today The Salvation Army and Essex County Council welcomed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman, to the Hadleigh Farm Olympic Mountain Bike Venue to review progress in developing legacy plans working in partnership with Natural England.

Mrs Spelman was presented with outline plans of how the Mountain Bike course will be integrated into existing facilities to meet the needs of the local community, protect and enhance the environment and benefit the vulnerable people supported by The Salvation Army on the site.

Accompanied by officials from Essex County Council and representatives from Natural England, Major John Warner of The Salvation Army escorted Mrs Spelman around some new features at the 2012 Olympic Games Mountain Bike venue and projects to protect the Natural Environment.

Finally she toured The Salvation Army Rare Breeds Centre, where she heard how The Salvation Army has been part of the local community and excellent stewards of the land for more than 100 years.

In particular the role of the Hadleigh Training Centre, Hadleigh Farm and Rare Breed Centre was highlighted in providing public access and promoting education about food and farming and conservation of rare breed animals, as a means of bringing added-value to family and community life.  

Environment Secretary Mrs Spelman congratulated all partners on what has been achieved and commended The Salvation Army in fulfilling the vision it had more than 100 years ago to secure the land at Hadleigh to make a lasting contribution to the life of the community.

She said: “Long after the games are over, Hadleigh Farm will continue to bring joy to many people and deliver real improvements for the environment.”

Major John Warner responded: “We are delighted that the Secretary of State has had this opportunity today to witness our achievements in safeguarding and promoting the environment and to see how the vulnerable people we support here are engaged in this as part of their training to give them the necessary skills to reach their full potential.”