Debden Recreation Ground

The Annual General Meeting of Debden Recreation Ground will be held on Monday 18th September 2023 at  8.30pm, Debden Village Hall.

DRG AGM September 2023/Download

DRG AGM Notice Sept 23


Movement for Good – Debden Recreation Ground


Debden Recreation Ground Notice of Meeting 28.09.2022.

DRG AGM 28.09.2022.Notice


Debden Recreation Ground AGM Draft Minutes 28.09.22

DRG AGM Minutes 28.09.22


Debden Recreation Ground Notice of Meeting 23.09.2021.

AGM Sept 2021 Agenda


Draft Minutes of The Annual General Meeting of Debden Recreation Ground 23rd Sept 2021

DRG AGM 23 Sept 2021 Draft Minutes


Recreation Ground is a registered charity: 1097367 

Address: Debden Recreation Ground, Mill Road, Debden, Essex CB11 3LB. Registered address: 1 Broctons Barn, Rook End Lane, Debden Essex CB11 3LR. Tel: 01799 542288 • Email:

The Trust is governed by seven members with Debden Parish Council acting as Sole Trustee.

Debden Recreation Ground is responsible for the following: • Recreation Ground, Pavilion, Play area, tennis courts and car park.

Our declaration of trust: to provide for the public a garden or an open space pursuant to the provisions of the Open Spaces Act 1906. Note: Document is available on request.


Debden Recreation Ground Assets:
DRG Asset Register Oct20


Generous grant awarded by the Searle Trust for repairs to the play area.

You may have noticed that the play area has brand new safety matting under the toddler swings, multi play unit and spinning tea-cup. The swings have been repaired again this year, due to a rotten timber.

Debden Recreation Ground applied to Essex Communication Foundation (ECF) for a grant of £4,736 to make repairs to the play area to ensure safety and enabling continued use of the equipment for the local community in Debden. The grant was awarded from the Searle Trust, which is administered by ECF.

DRG would like to say a very grateful ‘thank you’ to the team at ECF and the trustees.

New toddler swing cradles and a replacement timber for the nest swing are also planned within the next 12 months.

If you need funding for a local project, you can apply here:


Debden Recreation Ground and Village Hall Centenary 19th March 2022

We are holding a joint celebration event with Debden Village Hall Trust on Sat 19th March. We would love you to join us for tea and cake, a gift fair and food and drink in the evening. You can Pre-order your waffles to avoid dssappointment:  See below:

Debden Village Hall and recreation ground both mark their centenary this month.  In March 1922 Lady Strathcona made a bequest of land in trust for the purpose of building a hall for use by the community. Since then, the hall has been at the centre of village life, hosting village meetings and events, many of which continue to this day.

Lady Margaret Charlotte Strathcona was the daughter of 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal who owned Debden Hall and extensive parkland in the village including the meadow adjoining the hall which became the recreation ground. The bequest was made in memory of her son, The Hon. Robert Henry Palmer Howard, who was killed during WWI at Flanders, age 21 years.

His name is commemorated on the memorial stone along with more than 30 servicemen from the parish who lost their lives in both World Wars.

Continuity and change
The history of the hall and recreation ground reflects both continuity as the centrepiece of social life in the village and changes in society over the years. From a meeting place and reading room in its early days, the hall became a hub for an ever-increasing range of activities. The 1967 constitution for what was then the Debden Memorial Institute lists a dozen management committee representatives and users including Parish Council, PCC, British Legion, Debden Football Club, Mothers’ Union and Women’s  Club, WI, social, youth, drama, art clubs, dance school, play school and the Community Shop. 

The tennis courts were built in 1972 and celebrate their 50th birthday, this year.  The Children’s playground was added later. The pavilion was built on the recreation ground in 1975, by the football club.

While cricket and rounders haven’t  been played on the recreation ground for some years, football continues and has been joined by Tai Chi.

Over the years a variety of events including  classic car shows, fetes, May-day parades, parties and weddings have taken place forming many happy and nostalgic memories for long-term residents and families.

Whatever the future holds, the village hall and recreation ground have both served the community well over the past century.


Essex Lottery

Did you know that if you buy an Essex Lottery ticket, you can select Debden Recreation Ground as your cause and funds will be donated towards Debden Playground maintenance.—childrens-play-area


Debden Pavilion – The Project

For an update on this project please go to:

Debden Recreation Ground Trust needs to build a new ‘Sports For All’  pavilion to meet current and future user requirements, to hold sports activities and events for everyone on Debden Recreation Ground.  

Debden has an old sports pavilion built in 1972. It provided two team changing rooms, officials changing, toilets and kitchen. Over the past 38 years, it has been regularly used by the football club and other clubs who visit from the local area, including a cricket, rounders and tennis club, plus use for village events and fetes.

However, the existing changing facilities are poor due to their age and condition. The pavilion does not meet current standards in relation to accessible toilet and shower provision and safeguarding. There are no baby-change, disabled facilities or disabled access.


The old pavilion is very dirty with no heating. The antiquated water supply services often leak and are not compliant with current standards. The electricity supply is poor and by overhead cable. There are no wi-fi or security facilities.  It has become unloved, fallen into disrepair and is currently closed.

The Plan

Debden Recreation Ground and the parish council concluded that the old pavilion should be demolished and replaced by a new build which provides modern facilities, including an accessible toilet, committee room and separate showers for each team changing room and referee. The new pavilion would be more suitable for meeting current needs and expectations.  

The plan is to build adjacent to the village hall, car park, tennis courts and in keeping with the rural location. Being in the very hub of the village centre will be of mutual benefit to the community and other nearby amenities. For example, the pavilion could be used in conjunction with the village hall for larger sports and local events.

The Project will consist of 3 phases:

  • Phase 1: Fundraising for surveys, architects fees and preliminaries
  • Phase 2:  Fundraising for Capital Costs
  • Phase 3: Appoint Contactor and build to complete Autumn 2021

Site Plan


The Design

A warm, accessible, light, energy efficient (low carbon footprint), sustainable “Sports For All” facility for the local community and future generations. 

What we’ve achieved in 2020/22:

  • Architects – Plater Claiborne, were appointed Feb 2020. Planning was submitted 1st April 2020.
  • Uttlesford District Council awarded planning permission – August 2020. 
  • A cost plan was drawn up by Dudley Smith Partnership – September 2020. This was deemed too expensive with an estimated build total of £355,600. 
  • Persimmon Community Champions have donated £1000
  • Debden Parish Council have reserves of £19,000, earmarked for the project
  • We have contacted Sports England and The Football Association who have advised us on changing room regulations and recommendations.
  • We have completed Phase 1 and have fundraised to cover architects fees, survey costs and preliminaries.
  • We are currently reviewing the build costs due to increased price rises in the last 12 months.
  • Planning was approved August 2022 for the smaller Passmore’s design.

Debden Pavilion Project sub-committee has been formed involving local residents and Debden Parish Council, to project manage the scheme.  The next phase is fundraising and the aim is to start building in Spring 2023. Committee members include people with backgrounds in PR, marketing, law, journalism, quantity surveyance, chartered surveyance, banking, construction and building.

The User Groups

  • Debden Tennis Club
  • Saffron Walden Community Youth Team
  • Boot Camp
  • DebdenCycle
  • Tai Chi
  • Debden Rounders
  • Debden Fete Committee
  • Debden Girlguides

“Debden tennis club would welcome a modern pavilion as the nearby village hall is often not available for their use” – David Rose, Chair Debden Tennis Club. 

Local residents have indicated they would like to start a cricket club next year.

Every summer DebdenCycle organise a 35 or 50 mile race in aid of local charities. Events have attracted over 200 participants. Completely volunteer run and supported by local businesses, DebdenCycle ensures that 100% of entry fees goes to a local charities such as, The Felix Fund, and have raised £9000, to date. Debden Pavilion provides a base, starting and finishing point for the event.


Organiser of DebdenCycle – Brian Lindsell

1604962023_start.jpg1604961990_carver_barracks.jpgOver 200 cyclists of all ages took part in 2019.

The Beneficiaries

A new sports pavilion will create a more neighbourly and stronger community. It will offer a safe environment, create better lives and health opportunities for the local people in the area. 

Benefits will be:

  • Physical fitness and team building skills.
  • Helping children and youth fulfil their potential and engage in sport within a safe environment
  • Improved mental health and well-being.
  • Improve the health of all ages and generations. 
  • Sport can be used to develop the capability, performance and engagement of a community.
  • Supports equality and diversity for residents and trainers
  • Those with special needs and disabilities will at last, be able to use the new facilities.
  • Small business such as PT/Boot Camp/etc can hire the pavilion creating (self) employment opportunities.
  • The project will be a sustainable development, using green or harvested energy from Air Source heat and Solar Panel technology. It will also capture rainwater and be economical to run and maintain,
  • Creating a community asset.


It is estimated that we need to raise between £180,000 and £230,000 as part of Phase 2, which is to fundraise for capital costs, to start the build. (Oct 2022).

Applications for grants and the creation of local schemes, will start immediately to work towards achieving our goal. We are hopeful that local events can be organised, to engage the community in our fundraising campaign.

We will investigate the option of making this a real Community Project with local businesses, trades people and residents volunteering their time and supplies at cost.

Sponsorship from local and national businesses, would be very welcome to help reduce costs. One scheme could be to purchase an engraved slab for the paved area around the pavilion.


A note about COVID-19  Communities pulled together and become stronger than ever during and after the pandemic. We have helped and supported each other through challenging times. Never has it been more important to stay safe and healthy. This has sparked new health and fitness schemes to be launched, including:

  • Sports England ‘Return To Play: Small Grants and Active Together’
  • ‘Better Health’ Campaign – Let’s Do This’
  • Essex County Council ‘Stop Swap and Go’
  • British Cycling ‘Places To Ride’ 

All have been launched since 2020 and continue through to 2022, to kickstart the health and well being of the nation. These are a strong indicators of proof of need.

Staying in Touch

We are on social media (we would love you to follow us), with regular updates in our local press newspapers and village magazine Debden Parish Pump –

This Pavilion Project will strengthen the local community, improve fitness, confidence, mental health, well being and enable people to have a better quality of life.