Revamp for Shipston Riverside

There has been good progress on the programme of work near the Bridge Car Park, designed to improve the riverside environment for wildlife and people.

Dead and dying trees have been taken out, along with thinning and coppicing done to help new growth. Lower branches have been removed from the large trees around the picnic area to let in more light. Two new octagonal picnic tables, one with a wheelchair accessible space, will be set in hard landscaping extending from the parking area. A new lowgrowing native hedge will be planted around the edge of the grassed area to define the boundary.

The next step is to plant young wildlife-friendly native trees at the top of the bank to establish a hedge alongside the new fence. In eight or ten years’ time, this hedge will be substantial enough to be laid in the traditional manner, and the fence will be removed, having done its job.

The work, due to be completed by the end of February in time for the nesting season, is being undertaken on behalf of the Town Council’s Heritage, Amenities and Leisure Projects working group (HALP), with the approval of the Environment Agency, Stratford District Council and Heart of England Forest.

HALP’s Verity Richardson said: “We have plans for an area of quiet reflection on the other side of the road, by The Old Mill, to include two new benches, some crab apple trees courtesy of Shipston Rotary Club, and a noticeboard with environmental information.

Meanwhile it is work in progress, so please bear with us. Thanks to years of wonderful work by Shipston Area Flood Action Group (SAFAG) and more recent water quality monitoring by volunteers led by Olivia Hatch, Stratford District Council’s Green Party member for Shipston North, our river and its environs are at last getting the attention they deserve.”

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