Local housebuilder Larkfleet Homes ( has provided a helping hand – in the shape of a JCB digger – to help volunteers working on landscape and environmental improvements at Manor Farm Park in Eye, near Peterborough.

The Eye Open Space Group is busy working on the next phase of a major regeneration project on three acres of land behind Manor Farm Community Centre off the village High Street.

The team of volunteers, led by the group’s chairman Dale McKean, city councillor for Eye and Thorney, needed a digger to excavate scrub and wasteland on the site to create three more wildlife ponds and drainage soakaways.

Larkfleet Homes is building two, three, four and five-bedroom properties on its Parson’s Prospect development off Thorney Road in Eye so Dale approached the company and asked for help. Larkfleet was delighted to provide its support.

“We supplied a JCB digger which was used to clear, excavate and prepare the land for the wildlife ponds. The machinery was in full use for two days,” said Ian Elston, Larkfleet site manager at Parson’s Prospect.

“As a local company we are committed to supporting community activities and this is a tremendous environmental asset for local people.”

The open space programme has received more than £100,000 from National Lottery funding which has transformed the overgrown, boggy wasteland to a nature haven which now features a wild flower meadow, native woodland and paths, a picnic area with solar lighting, an adventure trail and children’s play area, youth shelter and seating, skate park and car parking facilities.

A further £20,000 lottery grant, secured in September, is being spent on the wildlife ponds, a new footpath and additional drainage. The ponds are an important factor in the Eye Open Space Group’s application for Green Flag status.

“We are very grateful to Larkfleet for providing the earth-moving machinery which enabled us to carry out the preparation work for these ponds,” said Dale McKean.

“The Princes Trust provided volunteers and the materials we required were funded by the additional lottery grant. Having the digger available for two days was crucial and we couldn’t have completed the excavations without Larkfleet’s help. The company’s support is much appreciated.”

The Open Space Group is working in partnership with Eye residents and Peterborough City Council to transform the site. “The results are there for everyone to see,” said Dale. “The wildlife ponds and drainage improvements will complete the transformation of this land in the heart of the village.”

Larkfleet’s Parson’s Prospect development in Eye has just one two-bedroom and three four-bedroom homes remaining for sale. A range of incentives and schemes is available to make purchasing as swift and easy as possible.