Kate AshbrookA leading green-spaces campaigner will team up with the mother of former England cricketer Sir Ian Botham at a rally against a sports development tomorrow.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, and Marie Botham, a parish councillor, will lead the protest against a council’s plans to build a sports centre on Yeovil Rec, a green area in the Somerset town.

Kate Ashbrook 

The public meeting has been called by the Save Yeovil Rec campaign. Ms Ashbrook said: “Yeovil is hugely lucky to have such an extensive open space near the heart of the town. Residents of countless other towns must be green with envy that Yeovil is blessed in this way.

“It is outrageous that South Somerset district councillors want to destroy this unique asset by building the Sports Zone here, making it into yet another suburban sports ground and destroying the beauty and freedom which Yeovil Rec offers to the public.

“The rec is greatly used and enjoyed for a variety of purposes: walking the dog, cycling, kicking a ball around, bird watching, or just meeting for a chat.  It is a social hub.

“The Open Spaces Society exists to help groups such as Save Yeovil Rec protect their spaces for public benefit. We shall do all we can to ensure that this extensive area is secured for quiet public enjoyment.”

The meeting is at 7.30pm tomorrow, Wednesday 12 March at Pentecostal Church, Southville, Yeovil.

  • Sir Ian 'Beefy' Botham holds the record for the number of wickets taken by an English test cricketer. He began his playing career at Somerset in 1974 and later took to charity fundraising, undertaking 11 long-distance fundraising walks, including the 900-mile Land's End to John O'Groats trip. He has latterly become well-known for advertising breakfast cereals on television.