A programme to plant over 600 trees throughout the Salisbury River Park project has kicked off with the first new trees planted along Coldharbour Lane, near Fisherton Recreation Ground.
This will be followed over the next 18 months, as construction continues, by a variety of native tree species being planted throughout the scheme, including Maple, Birch, Cherry, Aspen and Willow; some of which will be larger semi-mature trees. Alongside this a substantial amount of additional planting will take place within the park area, including large areas of wildflower meadows.
Within Ashley Road Open Space for example, a new line of Cherry trees will be planted along the river together with new Weeping Willows, and a line of Tulip trees will be planted alongside the road creating a lovely natural boundary around this space.
Around 100 trees have had to be removed to enable the main scheme works to start next month. This is the earliest the main works could commence due to ecological restrictions on the timing of any works within the river channels.
Ron Curtis, Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager at The Environment Agency said: “We are extremely pleased to see the first replacement trees planted as part of the Salisbury River Park project, and this represents a key milestone in the works. We are looking forward to starting our main works next month, which will lead to a rapid transformation of this area.”
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding, Wiltshire Council, added: “One of our key priorities is taking responsibility for our environment and to ensure it is well used, cherished, protected, conserved, and enhanced. The Salisbury River Park project ticks all these boxes and we are delighted we are at the stage to see the first new trees planted.
“Once all the new trees are in place Salisbury will have a wonderfully rich and diverse natural landscape benefitting residents, ecology and wildlife well into the future.”
In collaboration with the Environment Agency, Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council and Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Salisbury River Park project will ultimately reduce flood risk to over 350 homes and businesses in Salisbury, provide major ecological, amenity, walking and cycling benefits, as well as significantly improve biodiversity.
Annie Child, City Clerk, Salisbury City Council, added: “The tree planting phase of the River Park project is a significant step on the road to improving Salisbury for its residents and visitors. The selection of native trees and wildflower planting is perfect for the area and will provide a welcome home for our wildlife. It’s sure to make a beautiful landscape for all to enjoy.”
Paddy Bradley, CEO Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership said of the announcement: “This is an important step to completion of the Salisbury River Park, rewilding the area with handpicked species to complement the natural habitat is fundamental to the project. Meadows, woodland and chalk streams are an intrinsic part of the UK’s natural and cultural heritage and help to capture carbon and reverse climate change. The work undertaken now will create an attractive native environment, increase habitat and biodiversity for wildlife and our future generations, whilst reducing the risk of flooding to the city for residents.”
Further information can be found here