LITTLE is known of the history of the Meadow and Woodland before the development of Goldsworth Park commenced in the 1970s. So far as can be established, the Meadow and Recreation areas were not cultivated by the previous site owner, Slocock Nursery, and anecdotal evidence suggests they were both originally semi-open scrub of similar character to Horsell Common.
Photographs from 1980 show the Meadow to be open grassland. The woodland is not evident in photographs dating back to 1990, and its secondary growth is perhaps no older than 25-30 years.
Trial pits dug in 2013 to investigate soil conditions for new soccer pitches uncovered buried pieces of concrete, brick and plastic sheeting across the Meadow area, and exposed pieces of stone and concrete are widespread on the surface. This suggests that at some time before Goldsworth Park’s construction began the Meadow area was used to dump construction or demolition waste.
The mounds along the west side of the Meadow are understood to be formed of spoil removed during construction of the artificial hockey pitches.
Similarly, at some time in the 1980’s the south woodland area may have been used to dump silt removed from the lake – and there is a bank surrounding the area which is most noticeable alongside the lake path. A aerial photograph taken around this time on the cover of Iain Wakeford’s 2012 Heritage Walk Guide shows an open rectangular area to the north of the lake surrounded by trees with open grassland beyond.
The southern part of the woodland is owned by Thames Water, whilst that to the north is owned by Woking Borough Council. Thames Water also owns the lake although the banks are leased to Woking Borough Council which is responsible for maintenance.