October 22nd, 2016

Anger at meadow plans for Warwick’s St Nicholas Park

Anger at meadow plans for Warwick’s St Nicholas Park Anger at meadow plans for Warwick’s St Nicholas Park

PARK users in Warwick are furious after swathes of grassland were killed off for wild flower meadows.

Friends of St Nicholas Park are demanding Warwick District Council (WDC) put right the damage and have launched a petition.

They have also accused council chiefs of not consulting properly over the proposals, and say the sites selected for the meadows are inappropitae.

Friends chair Linda Bromley said: “Large areas of the open, grassed areas in St Nicholas Park have apparently, been deliberately killed by WDC in preparation for the planting of wild flower meadows.

“We believe the locations chosen are inappropriate for this type of planting and consequently much of the grassed areas will be inaccessible to park users for their recreation.

“We are concerned the views of the Friends of St Nicholas Park and Warwick Town Council have been ignored regarding these major changes.

“We are also surprised that our ward councillors have not had an opportunity to debate the issues and the impact of the changes on park users.

“We expect WDC and our elected councillors to act as the stewards for our parks, protecting them from further development and drawing up policies which encourage greater use and participation by local residents.”

But district council parks spokesman, Coun David Shilton defended the move, and said the meadows were part of a package of improvements to the popular park.

He told The Observer: “The recent spraying out of the grassed areas has been carried in preparation for meadow establishment as part of the ongoing improvements to St. Nicholas Park, Warwick.

“Funds were allocated to this priority project as part of wider range of improvements including riverside walk and toilet improvements.

“Further funded projects include footpath improvements, picnic benches and further landscaping.”

Coun Shilton said the Friends had been consulted on the proposals, including the meadow areas, with meetings held in March, along with consultations with both Warwick town councillors and district councillors.

“Once established, the meadows will provide wild flowers for people and wildlife to enjoy including pollinators, which are in significant decline nationally, ” added Coun Shilton.

“The meadows will grow in spring and summer and will be cut in the early autumn returning the areas to short grass.

“The meadow areas will represent only a small area in comparison to the remaining grassland.

“The meadows are one of many improvements to St Nicholas Park which will attract more people and wildlife and will compliment many of the other landscape improvements to the park.

“Warwick District Council have introduced many new meadows to parks and open spaces across the district with many positive comments.”