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From Kate Tomlinson:
After a very fine Sunday spent volunteering with other local people, improving the paths in London Road Gardens (aka Regent Terrace Gardens), I've certainly got a few ideas for how this green space could be made better ...
First of all, the absolute basics - we need to make sure that the Council is willing and able to maintain London Road Gardens as an inviting and pleasant green space in the centre of the city where people feel welcomed to take exercise, walk their dogs, enjoy a lunchtime break from work etc.
So first of all, we need
- a plan (and resources) to ensure community safety and limit anti-social behaviour
- a plan (and resources) to ensure regular maintenance (including path maintenance and vegetation management)
- provision of more litter bins, on all the paths
- regular street and path cleaning, litter picks, and a blitz on broken glass.
Secondly, developing the potential of the Gardens
- planting for wildlife and putting up bird and bat boxes
- signage to let people know about the wildlife, history and geology of the area
- identifying and maintaining picnic sites and contemplation spots in the Gardens
- developing Paths for Health, with signs indicating both walking and running routes
Also, investing in London Road Gardens
- better lighting, that illuminates all the paths, without interfering with wildlife
- appropriate surfacing of all the paths
- improving the boundaries and entrances to the Gardens, whilst maintaining open and easy access for the public
The question of re-instating 'heritage railings' is a tricky one. My personal view is that high, heavy iron railings bring with them an implication of 'private' space that is not welcoming. Although I can see some advantages in separating the busy traffic of London Road from the mature woodland of the Gardens, I think we must take care to consult with present and potential users to make sure that access points are not closed off, and that the public feel welcomed into the Gardens and encouraged to use the green space for enjoyment, health and recreation.
Personally I would prefer to consider a low fence, and suitable planting (perhaps a hedgerow) forming a partial barrier between London Road and the Gardens (with plenty of appropriate access points), and the restoration and continuing maintenance of the splendid existing (mixed native species) hedge between Royal Terrace and the Gardens. I'd like to hear other people's views on this ...
... so please send your thoughts to this blog.
Finally, many thanks to everyone who turned out on Sunday 24th August to help with our onservation work in the Gardens. We're planning to do it again, soon, and here's hoping that the weather is just as kind to us the next time!
Watch the website for details of our next activity, and of our next planning meeting for the Bio-Diversity Project