The Recreation Ground, which is one of the greatest assets in the village of Appledore, was created in 1971 when the Appledore Parish Council conveyed to a Charitable Body the field and area now known as the recreation ground.
The charity, the Appledore Recreation Ground Management Committee (Registered Charity No. 274810), was charged in the conveyance with the responsibility for maintaining and developing the facilities on the ground for the benefit of the village and others who wish to use them.
At one time cricket was played on the recreation ground but after land drains were installed a full-size Association Football pitch was formed and cricket was moved to Stone. A thatched roof cricket pavilion was sited adjacent to the present tennis court but it was burnt down after suffering a severe case of woodworm. The present timber faced pavilion was constructed close to the road with a small children's play area alongside having swings and a slide. On the site of the old pavilion two hard tennis courts were constructed and for some years an active tennis club existed.
Football has held a continuing interest and in 2003 the Pavilion was extended with a £135,000 grant from the Football Foundation for the construction of new changing rooms with showers for teams and officials, a heating plant, small kitchen, disabled toilet for the meeting room and a small store for games equipment. The Charity have also maintained the football pitch and financially supported Appledore FC. The grass pitch, which is acknowledged as one of the best in the area, is used on alternate weekends by Prince Albert FC from Ashford and occasionally by Ashford Town Reserves. Recently a junior football club has been formed with two teams and a 2 day 6-a-side competition for local clubs in late June.
In 2012, the Play Area was almost doubled in size with a Lottery funded grant for £50,000. It was opened in the spring of 2012 with a Spring Fair, which was repeated in 2013 at the time of celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Queens reign. Since 2012 the Charity have continued to improve the facilities, fencing of the tennis court and constructing a Multi Use Games Area alongside for 5-a-side football, basketball and netball.
The field also has within it commemorative trees, planted to mark the Queens 25th, 50th and 75th Jubilee's, and an Oak from 1968 for Best Kept Village in Kent, together with the Appledore Village sign for the Millennium.
Funding of the Charity's work is in the main from the annual Vintage and Classic Car Rally which now attracts upwards of 400 vehicles in various categories and from Car Clubs. The organisation of this event absorbs the energy of the committee for the majority of the year.
Appledore Recreation Ground Management Committee
The committee consist of trustees, village organisation representatives and members from the parish who are elected annually in March.
The present committee members are:
Steve Burton Chairman & Trustee
Trevor Boorman Vice Chairman
David Ball Honorary Secretary & Trustee
Ken Beale Chairman, Appledore Senior Smugglers Football Club
Miss Terri Richards Secretary, Appledore Junior Smugglers Football Club
Chris Vane Representative, Appledore Parish Council
Ken Girkin Representative, History Society
Mrs Jenny Godden Representative, Gardening Club
Peter Elweis Representative, Tennis Club
Rajan Purewal Parish Resident
Simon Marsh Parish Resident