Vision Statement

Vision: Bisley, Eastcombe and Oakridge in 2040

Bisley, Eastcombe and Oakridge, and the surrounding hamlets and farms, remain characteristic Cotswold villages in a much-valued and protected landscape. There has been no major development in the area, but new housing has been added as infill in the villages and some, new edge-of-settlement developments of sustainable, affordable, well-designed housing through community land trusts and similar locally-led schemes. Some of these are traditional Cotswold designs, some contemporary but in harmony with the built and natural landscape. All have been built to the highest energy-efficient standards, with positive contributions to the natural environment. The residents of the parish all now live in well-insulated homes heated by renewable energy, generated in part by local community-owned energy schemes. Older houses have been insulated and fitted with sustainable heating systems.

There is much less reliance on private cars. There is a good bus or electric mini-bus service, some on-demand, connecting the villages and nearby towns, especially Stroud. There is more use of bicycles, especially electric bikes, which much reduce the challenge of the hills. Dedicated off-road cycle routes connect the main villages, and link to Chalford and Stroud. There is local renewable energy generation by small community-led schemes that benefit local residents, allowing direct supply to homes in the area and returning profits to the community.

Local shops meet many of the daily needs of residents. Small businesses continue to provide employment for locals and some from outside the parish. Amenities for children and young people include play areas, sports and social clubs. As roads are safer, more children are able to cycle and walk to school and social activities. Home composting is the norm, and community composting schemes mean all green waste is recycled locally.

The natural environment, flora and fauna, is noted for its richness. Local nature recovery has proceeded in step with and as part of the wider nature recovery strategy of the district and county. Several areas, including allotments, have received wildlife designation, and are connected by wildlife corridors which now allow movement of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals between the clean ‘blue’ corridors of the Slad Brook, the Holy Brook, the Toadsmoor and Frome valleys and the varied habitats of the higher land of the parish. Many residents now have ‘nature-friendly’ gardens which form an important part of this network. Pesticide and herbicide use is almost unknown, following the example of the Parish policy since 2021.There are more trees, including community orchards and fruit trees, throughout the parish. Farmers have played an important part in this, adopting many nature-friendly farming methods such as planting more hedges, reducing hedge flailing and setting side larger areas for farmland birds.

Connections between local farmers and the community have strengthened, with shops and markets selling more local produce, improving food security and resilience as climate change alters our environment. There is an increased understanding that we live in and with nature.