You will be seeing surveyors discretely working on the riverside soon. One of the key considerations within the improvement and land management plans for the riverside scheme is to make sure that the existing ecology, land and soil are both recorded and protected. For confidence in the revised plans - produced following the consultation - its essential that the certainty of the shape, profile and condition of the existing land is documented, mapped, tested and clearly established. A topographical survey will start in early March and will be carried out in the northern area by SV Surveys. This will provide better knowledge of the existing land and help create a detailed digital map for futher planned arboricultural and biodiversity surveys to take place as soon as weather and seasons allow. Given that some of the northern area was a council tip in the 60s its important to know how this effects the area's biodiversity. A comprehensive set of surveys of the riverside land may never have been done and certainly there have been no surveys using the very latest topographical technology. Rest assured that all surveying work will create the minimum invasion and be sensitively and professional completed. We await the results of these first-ever modern technology terrain and ecology surveys with great interest.
Dec 8th 2020
When the project team were in the early stages of developing a proposal to revitalise the riverside, we knew that the preservation of existing habitats and strengthening biodiversity would take centre stage. Making the most of this precious green space will have many positive benefits for residents and visitors, as the space will be more accessible and provide a green route into town. We knew this was an opportunity to enhance the land, so it benefits the environment as well as people, for generations to come.
Last week, with the consultation in its early stages, it was the right time for team members from Stratford District Council, Stratford Town Trust and Tandem Projects to get together with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Middlemarch Environmental to confirm that the initial concept ideas were in line with our aims. On a rainy Thursday morning, the team began their walk from Fisherman’s car park and explored the site, stopping to assess the value of the land in environmental terms and discuss ways to preserve existing habitats. The walk also gave us a chance to hear some of the comments and concerns from people out and about using the riverside.
The outcome of the meeting was extremely positive, and the team were reassured that the proposals could achieve our aspirations. Ian Jelley, Director of Living Landscapes at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust said: “The area is designated a Local Wildlife Site, which recognises the important role it plays for native wildlife in the local area. In addition, because it is located next the River Avon it plays a crucial role in habitat connectivity, enabling species to move through the landscape. With the right sympathetic design, the site could be enhanced for wildlife by improving the habitat condition and enabling people to get closer to nature in their daily lives. Opportunities like this could contribute to ensuring that 30% of land is supporting nature’s recovery by 2030, whilst at the same time providing benefits to local people by enabling them to access high quality greenspace on their doorstep. We know that interacting with nature helps people’s mental and physical wellbeing. and therefore sites like this could provide multiple benefits to wildlife and people in Stratford.”
The next steps are to conduct more in-depth environmental surveys of the land while we continue to gather views and ideas. Our consultation is open until the end of January and we have already received lots of great suggestions. We are keen to hear from as many Stratford residents as possible so we can collate your opinions and make sure the riverside is a project for the whole community, so please do take part.
Abigail Johnson, Communications Officer, Stratford Town Trust.