Gloucester Urban Greening Project
Gloucester City Council has secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund to improve/create around 250 hectares of habitat across a number of sites in Gloucestershire including:
- Gloucester City
- University of Gloucestershire Oxstalls Campus
The total spend for the project is just over £1.4m, match funded from a number of partners including Gloucester City Council, University of Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Environment Agency, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the European Regional Development Fund.
The proposed works are a combination of measures including:
- Changes to maintenance regimes
- Wildlife Meadow Creation
- Creation of wildlife corridors
- Woodland Planting
- Orchard creation
- Planting of native hedgerow
- River Restoration including breaking out sections of concrete lined channel incorporating meanders and marginal planting
- Construction of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems - swales, reed beds, ponds, scrapes
- Sustainable planting
The works will bring about a number of environmental benefits including:
- Habitat creation
- Increased Biodiversity
- Reduced Flood Risk
- Improvements to water quality
- Increasing target species
- Engaging communities with the outdoors including ongoing monitoring of sites/citizen science projects
- Improving urban air quality
- An improved, interconnected network of habitats
- Enhancing sites as valuable public green space with enhanced biodiversity
- Increasing amenity value of sites and ultimately well-being
Project Partners will look to consult with communities in areas where works are planned where relevant to do so.
Works have already started at some sites and all proposed works are due to be completed by Autumn 2021.
Sites where works are proposed include:
Horsbere brook - Sandyleaze and Longlevens
Matson Rest Garden
King George V Playing Fields
Estcourt Road Gardens
Sud Brook and River Twyver in Abbeydale
Clock Tower Park
Combrook Close Balancing Pond
Appleton Way Balancing Pond
Coney Hill Balancing Pond
Kingsway estate and Kingsway Manor Farm
University of GloucestershireOxstalls Campus, Gloucester
Grange Field in Bishops Cleeve in addition to a number of public open spaces in Bishops Cleeve. For further information regarding the Grange Field Project please follow link here.
Benhall Meadow Creation Scheme
Benhall Open Space lies to the south-west of Cheltenham town centre covering an area of approximately 9 hectares. The open space consists of semi-natural broad-leaved woodland following the course of a small stream, the Hatherley Brook. The brook splits part of the way through the park forming two woodland corridors in the eastern side. A large percentage of the site is amenity grassland which is regularly mown reducing the species diversity. The proposal is to create a wildflower meadow throughout the open space and enhancing the marginal planting between the woodland and the meadow.
Honeybourne Line Scheme
The Honeybourne Line is a disused railway line that’s been converted into a 2km shared footpath from the Cheltenham Spa Railway Station to the Pittville Park. It’s a very important green corridor for wildlife and members of the public. The Honeybourne Line access improvements are intended to be a landmark feature in the public realm. The current configuration is poorly laid out for users, low key and does little to draw people’s attention to the Honeybourne Line. The new entrance feature will draw people onto the line and may include new signs that contain information about the line itself; where it goes, history and/or about flora and fauna.
The end result will add value in terms of its contribution to the street scene, environment, and the community benefit gained in terms of bringing more people onto the Honeybourne Line. The management and maintenance regime of the vegetation and habitats are being reviewed along the line. This has identified areas where habitats can be improved and expended with native wildflowers, bulbs, hedging plants and trees.
Pittville Park Scheme
Pittville Park is the largest ornamental park in Cheltenham and features the magnificent Pump Room and lakes. This park is given a grade 2 listing under the English Heritage register of historic parks and gardens, with the Pump Room as a grade 1 historic building. Pittville Park won its first Green Flag Award and Green Heritage Accreditation in 2016 and still flies the flag today. The Pittville Park project will be key in helping to retain this accreditation. The proposal is to desilt sections of the lake, improve marginal vegetation and stabilise eroding banks. This will improve habitats, water quality and environment of the lake.
Sustainable bedding Scheme
The Council has undertaken a review of all the annual bedding schemes in the town with a view of redesigning and planting them with a more sustainable perennial planting scheme. The sustainable bedding project includes several prominent sites, Imperial Gardens, Sandford Park, Oxford Garden and Priory Garden. Imperial Gardens and Sandford Park have received Heart of England in Bloom Park awards for achievements in horticulture, environmental responsibility and community participation. The new planting style and schemes will incorporates a wider variety of plants giving the gardens and public spaces a more diverse visual and sensory impact. The increase in plant species will help to support increased levels of ecological biodiversity – which is great for bees, animals and insects. The plants have a longer life cycle and greater tolerance to both climatic extremes and physical damage.