3rd Jul 2019

Riverside proposals to be unveiled for consultation

Proposals that could see the river banks by Shipston Bridge transformed into a haven for wildlife and  recreation will be unveiled for public consultation on 2nd and 3rd August. The plans are the culmination of months of work led by Shipston Town Council’s Heritage and Leisure Projects working group, supported by local landscape architect, Emma Stolwood
from Stolwood Architects.

Town councillors were given a sneak preview of the plans at the June meeting, which cover new furniture, attractions and planting. If all goes to plan, on the Bridge Car Park side of the river, the main attraction will be a new viewing platform over the river. The platform would give residents and visitors a much clearer view of the river, with a chance to spot local wildlife both in the water and on the banks. 

HALP is also hoping to install a natural willow arch for children to run through as well as a willow seating area and new picnic benches on that side of the river. Information boards will be added to share information about the river, local wildlife, and flora and fauna.

On the Mill Street side, the team is hoping to replace the current metal crash barrier with a more attractive wooden one. The diseased willow tree will be cut back significantly and turned into a bug hotel and there are plans for a raised bed to add to the other striking floral displays around the town. The HALP team has also looked at various options for plants that will attract wildlife and provide year-round interest.

The proposals have been developed following careful consultation with a range of experts and take into consideration the potential impact of future flooding. The team is now inviting residents to view the proposals and share their views before the important work of seeking funding begins.

Co-chair of the HALP Working Group, Sheelagh Saunders, said: “We are really excited about the plans to make the most of the river at Shipston Bridge and we’d really like to share where we’ve got to with local residents. The plans will be on view throughout the two day consultation event and we’ll be running guided visits to the river from Clark House to explain the proposals in detail.

“This is one of the priority projects that arose from the Neighbourhood Plan so it’s really important that our community is involved in the next steps and has the opportunity to make this a space we will all want to use. We hope to see as many of you at the open day as possible and look forward to hearing your views.”

Alongside the consultation, the working group is seeking a bid writer to support bids for funding. Further details about the public consultation will be published in the August issue of the Forum.

Photo: Bridge Car Park river bank

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