Friezland is a wonderful free to use facility for the local community and equestrians.
The arena is a sand and fibre arena (50m x 25m) which is always open to the public, unless it is booked for an event. The site forms a staging post to the Pennine Bridleway National Trail and in addition to the arena, it also includes a grass area used for equestrian events and dog walking, picnic areas, car parking, toilets, storage containers and a stone built mounting block suitable for disabled use.
How does it all work?
Friezland Arena is owned by Oldham Council and the Friezland User Group (FUG) has a Service Level Agreement (SLA) in place with the Council, which means that FUG has responsibilities with regards to the upkeep and maintenance of the site, particularly the arena. In practice this means that FUG manages and run the site on behalf of everybody.
Who is FUG?
FUG is an amalgamation of existing groups that include:
- Saddleworth & District Pony Club (SDPC)
- West Pennine Bridleways Association (WPBA)
- Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents Association (GGRA)
Each group has two representatives on FUG. Our current O&DRC FUG representatives are Sandra Thomas-Coles and Richard Blenkinsop.
The FUG representatives group meets once a month to discuss issues related to the site, agree bookings and any events planned at Friezland. They also meet three times a year with the Council. The current Chair of FUG is Samantha Bentley.
FUG maintains a calendar of events being held at Friezland, including those held by O&DRC, Pony Club and West Pennine Bridleways Association. The calendar is available to view on the site notice board, the FUG Facebook page “Friezland User Group (FUG)”, and on the O&DRC Facebook Page.
What is FUG membership and Friends of Friezland?
FUG receives the majority of its income from membership, becoming a member means you became a Friend of Friezland (FofF). By becoming a Friend of Friezland you will be helping towards the maintenance costs of the arena fencing and gates, the grassed areas and car parks. FUG also raise funds through the popular Family Horse Show held in August.
If I am a member of O&DRC, am I automatically a member of FUG and a Friend of Friezland?
No, you need to join by downloading the F of F membership form off our website or via the membership form found in our annual schedule. Friend of Friezland membership is currently a donation of £10 per year. O&DRC pass on the full payment to FUG.
Who is the FUG representative who deals with Friends of Friezland membership?
Anne Townsend, who represents the Pony Club as part of the FUG representative group, deals with F of F membership.
Do I have to join Friends of Friezland as an O&DRC member?
No, but Friezland is our showground and without funds towards its upkeep and future maintenance, there is no guarantee that the arena will remain available. Being a F of F is one way to raise funds for the upkeep of the site.
Can I use the arena if I am not a Friend of Friezland?
Yes – The arena is a public facility and available to anyone to use except when it is booked out for organized events (these events are displayed on the public notice board at the arena). However, it would be very nice if those who benefit from the facility would make a small contribution to the cost of maintaining it, (current suggested minimum donation £12 per year per person) but there is no obligation to do so.
What does the riding club pay towards the upkeep of Friezland Arena?
The club has to pay a share of the maintenance costs incurred by FUG, i.e. arena surface leveling, etc. The costs are split (pro rata) between the FUG organizations (excluding GGRA) according to the number of booked uses in the year. The club also funded the purchase of the new toilet block supported by a grant from the local District Executive.
How does O&DRC raise the money to pay FUG?
O&DRC pays its share of the maintenance costs from surplus money it receives from shows, from hard working club members who organise fundraising events and via donations. O&DRC also raised money to purchase and install the new toilet block last season. This was paid for by club funds and a grant from the Saddleworth and Lees District Executive. Please note O&DRC fundraising does not include any Friends of Friezland membership fees taken when you become an O&DRC member; these are passed straight to FUG.
Arena Address: Manchester Road, Greenfield, Oldham OL3 7HJ.
Access: From Mossley A635, Manchester Road, the entrance is on the left, follow the track down to the arena area.
Parking: On show days, please park cars in the car park on the right prior to entering the arena area. Trailers to be parked on the grass area on the left side, horse boxes to be parked on the hard standing, the hard standing is also the overflow area for trailers if required.
How can you help?
There are lots of ways you can support Friezland in addition to becoming a Friend of Friezland. FUG are always looking for ways to raise money towards maintaining Friezland, so please support the many activities that take place at this wonderful free to use facility. We need as many people as possible to make regular visits to the site to carry out site checks and report any issues.
Please help us to look after this site by:
- Removing all droppings from the arena surface
- Closing the gate to the arena
- Picking up litter and taking it away with you or use the bins provided.
- Removing droppings from other public area such as the car park.
- Cleaning up after your dog and disposing safely of the mess.
- Become a Friend of Friezland.
To join and for further information about FUG, please visit Friezland User Group Facebook Page