Riparian restoration plus associated habitats
Located within Grange Ward
The proposed works for this location comprise Whaddon Brook channel improvements and creation of wildflower meadow areas. The overall improvements will provide habitat connectivity with Daniel's Brook to the south.
The concrete channel will be removed, and meanders introduced creating better habitat potential.
Works will also include native tree planting and formal wetland areas.
As with all wildflower meadows a more sensitive maintenance scheme will be introduced to improve bio-diversity whilst engaging the public.
The works at Holmleigh Park are now complete. The site is starting to green up and will start to attract wildlife along with improving the experience for people walking and passing through the area.
Below is a photograph of the works following completion showing the gentle banks and meandering natural river alignment
by comparison with same location before the works with the concrete river channel.
Following the public consultation process, the works at this site are underway. The realignment of the Whaddon Brook is nearing completion and we hope will provide an valuable site for both wildlife and the public.
The wider site is currently being prepared for wildflower seeding.
In order to allow the wildflower seed to make contact with the earth and germinate it has been necessary to cultivate the soil and create bare ground. The bare soil may persist for a number of months, but will gradually ‘green-up’ as the seeds begin to germinate.
Next year at Holmleigh there should be an attractive display of cornfield annual flowers including poppies, corncockles and cornflowers. These will act as a ‘nurse crop’, protecting the slower more subtle, perennial wildflowers to establish. Over time, the perennial wildflowers should become increasingly diverse with species such as ox eye daisy, hawkbit and wild carrot, providing essential habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.
Works on the seeding are planned to be completed by November.
Native daffodil bulbs will be planted this autumn, and tree planting will be carried out over the winter.
Consultation documents have now been sent out to local properties and put up around the site. These documents detail the proposals for Holmleigh Park and include plans and sketches of the scheme.
We would like your feedback and any other comments on the proposals.
The proposals include:
- Converting the existing, man-made, concrete channel between Tuffley Lane and Holmleigh Road into a natural stream. As well as removing the concrete, we will introduce gentle meanders, and shape the banks.
- Forming a small gently sloping bund with soil removed as part of the channel naturalisation.
- Creating wildflower meadows by allowing the existing grass to grow long. Additional areas of wildflower meadow will be created by cultivating the ground and seeding with a special wildflower mix.
- Changing grass cutting frequencies to ensure that wildflowers meadows thrive once established. A hay-cut around July and tidy-up cut in autumn each year will be carried out. Play and sports areas, and frequently used paths, will continue to be mowed short throughout the year
- Planting trees, native shrubs and bulbs across the wider park.
- Installing bat and bird boxes in certain trees.
The benefits of the proposal include:
- Helping to promote the physical and mental well-being of the users of the space.
- A biodiverse habitat, supporting birds, mammals, invertebrate species, pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
- Creation of an attractive natural wildflower meadow display.
- Improvement to the connectivity between habitats, helping wildlife to move around urban areas.
- A reduction in flash flooding due to longer grass retaining and releasing water more slowly than regularly mown grass.
- Flood risk benefits by naturalising the watercourse which will slow down flows and increase floodplain capacity.
Please send feedback and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 March 2021. Alternatively, you can use the feedback form on the Urban Greening project home page or or you can write to ‘ERDF Urban Greening Project’ using the postal address found on the consultation letter.
Artist's impression of river restoration
We will shortly be engaging in public consultation with regards to these works. Given the current Covid-19 pandemic these will be limited to surveys (online and mail) and feedback forms.
Design work for this location is currently underway. When ready, details will be posted on here.