Local Interest Groups
Loose Amenities Association
A local charity organisation, whose aim is to protect the Loose Valley. During the year, it organizes various events for the local community, including an Easter Egg Hunt, a Duck Race, a Scarecrow festival and an annual Carol Singing Concert. Volunteer work parties (usually on the third Sunday of the month from February-November 10am-1.30pm) help maintain the land owned by the Loose Amenities. Further information visit www.loose-amenities.org.uk
Loose Area History Society
From January 2019, the Society will be meeting on the second Wednesday of each month, from October through to June, at the Loose Parish Pavilion. The July meeting is usually an outing and the AGM is held in February. Meetings start at 7.30pm. Entry fee is £4 per session. Non-members welcome.
Loose Gardeners’ Society
Loose Gardeners’ Society was founded in 1884 for the benefit of members cultivating allotments at the top of Old Loose Hill, on land left to the parish by Lady McAlpine.
In the early days only “gentlemen gardeners” were permitted on the site with their ladies being allowed in on Sundays. In the 21st century at least a third of the membership is female.
There are 108 plots, a large proportion of which are half-plots.
Although the land is owned and managed by the Loose Parish Council (McAlpine) Allotments Charity (the McAlpine Trust), the day-to-day running of the site is left to the members of the Gardeners’ Society, who collect the rents, regularly inspect the plots to see they are being well used and organise the cutting of hedges and paths and any other maintenance work that is required.
Loose Gardeners’ Society is a separate organisation, run for the benefit of not only the plot-holders, but for local people in Loose and surrounding villages. Membership offers discounts at some local nurseries and garden centres. Composts, fertilisers, seeds and other garden sundries are available from the Site Shed on the allotments, at competitive prices.
The Society holds regular functions for its members – a summer evening buffet in June, Christmas and Easter get-togethers and the main event of the year, its Annual Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Show in August. The latter is where members have a chance to show off their prize exhibits and win cups. This event is held on the allotment site and is very well supported by the people of Loose.
Loose Gardeners Society is a very friendly society and welcomes new members – for details of membership or to book a plot, contact the Secretary of the Loose Gardeners’ Society.
Loose Parish Council
The Loose Parish Council meets monthly at the Loose Parish Pavilion normally on the third Monday of the month – except August. The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council is normally held in May. (Not to be confused with the Annual Parish Meeting, which is held in April or May, and although hosted by the parish council, is the meeting for residents of the parish to get together, bring up issues of concern and find out what’s happening in their local area).
There are currently eight main committees of the Loose Parish Council:-
Community Hub – Currently meets on an ad-hoc basis.
Environment – Meets approximately four times a year.
Finance & Administration – Meets approximately four times a year.
Human Resources Board – Meets approximately once a year.
Loose Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – Meets approximately every six weeks.
Pavilion & Playing Field – Meets approximately four times a year.
Planning – Meets every two weeks (meetings dependant on applications having been received).
There is also a Loose Fete Working Group (formerly the Events Committee).
Loose Valley Conservation Area Partnership
Representatives from local Parish Councils and Amenity Groups who are interested in preserving and enhancing the Loose Valley Conservation Area, for the benefit of its wildlife, residents, and visitors. Includes Loose Parish Council, Tovil Parish Council, Loose Amenities Association, Valley Conservation Society.
Regular work parties are held:-
Tuesdays 11am-3pm: Valley Conservation Society Work Party. Tel. 01622 746514
Second Monday of each month 9-11am.
Loose Footpaths Group Working Party on Loose + Swiss Scout land. Tel: 01622 744136
As a reminder to those who are unaware of the monthly work parties that run on the 4th Sunday of each month. Starting at 10.00am and finish when you decide enough is enough!!
McAlpine Trust Allotments – See Loose Gardener’s Society
North Loose Residents Association
The North Loose Residents Association catchment area is from the Wheatsheaf to the Loose Parish Boundary. The Association has developed a good relationship with the Borough Council in respect of consultation on planning, environment and other issues affecting their ‘catchment area. They hold a number of events during the year for the benefit of their members. The Annual General Meeting is usually held in March. Membership of the Association now exceeds 800 but new members are always welcome and further information can be found at www.northloose.co.uk
Valley Conservation Society
Founded in July 2000, the Valley Conservation Society exists to “Protect and enhance the valleys of South Maidstone for the benefit of residents, wildlife and visitors”. It was formed initially by residents of the Lower Loose Valley in Tovil, near Maidstone, Kent, but has since grown to encompass members in Loose, Boughton Monchelsea, Coxheath and much wider afield.
The Valley Conservation Society is run by an Executive Committee of up to 12 members, who are elected at the Society’s annual meeting in January. They serve for a one-year term.
The Executive Committee can appoint sub-committees to address specific items, and may invite ordinary members to sit on these. Currently, sub-committees include:- Development Control (planning); Traffic-Calming; Fund Raising; Land Acquisition and Land Management; Lottery.
In addition, there are regular working parties every Tuesday and occasional weekends organised by the chairman, where volunteers undertake practical conservation work in the Loose Valley and the surrounding footpath network.
The Society sends delegates to meetings of the Loose Valley Conservation Area Partnership (LVCAP). The principal aim of the Partnership currently is to prepare a Character Assessment for the Loose Valley Conservation Area, which could be adopted as supplementary planning guidance by the local planning authority, Maidstone Borough Council.
One means of protecting the Conservation Area is to promote the local sense of community and “ownership” of the Valley. To this end, the Society holds a number of social events throughout the year. Some are fund-raisers for the Society; others – such as the annual children’s show – are a means to support local schools and youth groups.
The Society is financed mainly by donations from members.
The Society aims to protect the Valley from unwelcome development by purchasing any open land that may become available. The Society has formed a company limited by guarantee for this purpose – Valley Conservation Limited. The Executive Committee members of the Society are also the directors of the company. There are no shareholders, no dividends are paid and there are no re-numerations paid to any directors. A Company Limited by Guarantee is a status similar to being a charity.
The Society’s audited accounts are presented each year to members at the annual meeting in January.