Renovation of Berwick parks gets underway
WORK started this week on a £900,000 lottery funded project that is set to regenerate two much loved parks in Berwick.
The scheme will help to improve Castle Vale Park and Coronation Park, also known as Tommy the Miller’s Park, which are located on either side of Berwick railway station.
Northumberland County Council has been working in partnership with Berwick Town Council and the Castlegate Area Residents Association (CARA) to develop future plans for the parks, in close consultation with local people.
In the first phase of the scheme D. Gibson Tree and Forestry Services from Coldstream have been awarded a contract to carry out tree work, and they will have a team of up to 10 arborists working in the parks from March 11-31.
The work includes felling some trees that have been found to be dangerous, inappropriately planted or self-sown; crown lifting and crown clearing others to remove dead wood and improve views; and removing ivy from some trees.
It will be necessary to close some footpaths at times during the work to ensure it can be carried out safely and signs and notices will be displayed when this has to take place.
The work on the trees clears the way for the main construction contract to start in September this year, with major improvements including repairing footpaths and steps and a new ramped access round the rose garden at Castle Vale Park.
The lily pond in Castle Vale Park will be restored, seeing the return of water and lilies, as well as planting of marginal pond species at the edges to increase the biodiversity, create more opportunities for habitat studies for school groups in the parks and to deter paddling!
The shelter at the bottom of Coronation Park will be restored, while the one near the top will be replaced with a pergola that sits just off the footpath, to provide better views of the River Tweed as it meanders towards the estuary.
New seats and new planting will be added to both parks. A spring bulb and wildflower meadow will be planted in Coronation Park, and an outdoor classroom and small events space will be created at the bottom of the park.
The excellent gardening work done by CARA volunteers in Castle Vale Park will be complemented by the restoration of original horticultural features including rockeries around the rose garden and near the lily pond.
Expressions of interest for the main construction contract will be sought by the county council during the next two months, with the tender to be awarded in the summer.
The project is being funded through a grant of £890,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG). Further funding is also being provided by the town and county council bringing the total project cost up to £942,620.
Coun Alan Thompson, executive member responsible for neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council said: “This is a flagship project for parks in Northumberland and I very much look forward to seeing the different elements progress over the coming months.
“An exciting prospect for the project is the opportunity to appoint a parks development officer, which will be a five year post, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The officer will be responsible for organising and leading events, volunteer activities and school and group visits to the parks, as well as for much of the maintenance of the parks.”
Mayor of Berwick John Robertson, said: “This project is a huge boost for Berwick and the improvements to the two parks will be appreciated by both residents and visitors. This first important step will bring back views which made these parks so special, and we are all looking forward to seeing the plans taking shape over the next 12 months.”
Jessie Dodds from the Castlegate Area Residents Association, said: “All of the members are very excited about what is going to happen in the parks, and are very much looking forward to seeing them with their new look.
“Many people in the town remember enjoying these parks when they were young, and the work is going to reinstate some of the historical features and bring them back to their former glory. We can’t wait to see what is going to be quite spectacular, and will be a great asset to the town.”
If you would like to get involved in the project, or would like more information, please contact Emma Evans on 01670 623509 email@example.com . The master plans, time lines and much more information are/is available at berwickparks.northumberland.gov.uk
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Weather for Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 7 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west