It's neither park nor countryside, but something in between. There's two main areas: pictured is part of the smaller one where the grass is left longer to allow masses of wild cranesbill to bloom in summer. The other part is much bigger and mown a little more often - I don't really know why. There's also a couple of old hedgerows: one by the school and the other bordering Hardenhuish Brook where it flows near the main road. Both have many dens and swings made by children in the summer.
I haven't got to the bottom of why it's called the Donkey Field round these parts: research at the town's museum and the county History centre have born little fruit so far and I haven't had time to make enquiries at the Town Hall yet. I have established it formed part of the Hardenhuish estate and was either gifted or sold to the town by the Clutterbuck family on March 7th 1938. The Borough records of the time label it as 'Open Space' with a value of three hundred and ninety three pounds, six shillings and six pence (£393 and 32.5p in today's decimal parlance).
The land has a covenant to prevent building on it, but this has already been breached when the town sports and social club was built. In late 2007 the football club applied for planning permission to take another slice of land to use for covered pitches, but so far this hasn't materialised. I for one hope it doesn't as I would like the land to remain available to all local residents.
This is for ABC Wednesday and is the fourth post in my themed series about Chippenham.