The District Council’s environmental winter work is well underway at local parks

Posted on: Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The District Council’s Environmental Team is hard at work this winter, with a scope of projects underway to protect, maintain and enhance the district’s biodiversity and landscapes, and create a greener Newark and Sherwood.

From gardens and green spaces to parks and community gardens, Newark and Sherwood is home to a large and diverse number of habitats and species all over the district, and the Council is undertaking several projects to improve and support these over the winter.

Councillor Emma Oldham, Portfolio Holder for Biodiversity and Environmental Services at Newark and Sherwood District Council said: "While we typically associate spring with blossoming and things starting to come to life again, winter is a pivotal time for safeguarding, maintaining and enhancing our ecosystems. This ensures their resilience during the colder months and primes them to thrive when the weather warms up.”

“Witnessing these initiatives in their early stages is truly exciting. Although the sites may not appear complete yet, the groundwork being laid is essential for these locations to reach their prime in the upcoming spring and summer months. I eagerly anticipate the positive impact they will undoubtedly have as we progress forward.”

The programme of winter works include:

The creation of a new orchard and memorial garden at Sconce and Devon Park

Work has already begun at the Green Flag Award-winning Sconce and Devon Park, where a historic orchard is being restored. The first stages of the work which are currently underway include clearing the site of diseased trees and invasive species. Later this month, the planting of native fruit trees will begin, ready for the community to enjoy once it is established!

Park Rangers and volunteers have also been creating new pathways for visitors to explore the park, adding to the new pathways created in June, which have been key in keeping access across the park during recent flooding.

Planting at Vicar Water Country Park

Later this month work will also begin creating a native wildflower walk at Vicar Water Country Park, with pathways through the meadow to include living willow tunnels, bee posts and planters. New trees are also being planted to create more diversity within the area.

A memorial rose garden with surrounding seating to allow for peaceful reflection and a place to remember loved ones is also being developed at the park.

“This is a really exciting project as we’re combining play opportunities for children and peaceful well-being areas for residents with biodiversity-boosting planting. A win-win for people and wildlife,” says Councillor Oldham.

The Three Rivers Project at Vicar Water Country Park

In December, the District Council began working with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust on the Three River Project, a Severn Trent funded scheme. As part of this project, the Environmental Team have been working to improve the health and flow of the water through the river at Vicar Water Country Park. This work also supports the Council’s recent commitment to revive the health of local waterways and, by extension, oceans through the ‘Motion to the Ocean’ initiative.

Tree planting at Westbrook Drive, Rainworth

The District Council is committed to its tree strategy to help reduce its carbon footprint and capture carbon. To continue making these strides moving into 2024, it is planting 800 trees at Westbrook Drive in Rainworth during January. This is building on works from 2023 during which the District Council planted or gave away 22,204 trees and committed an extra £30,000 to existing budgets to ensure that all the extra trees planted across the district received aftercare and maintenance.

Councillor Emma Oldham continues: “We are as committed as ever to creating welcoming, accessible parks and green spaces across our district, with recent improvements such as our £350,000 investment into play parks, the reinvigoration of Sherwood Avenue Park and improvements to pathways. These winter works are a great way to kick start a greener and wilder 2024 for Newark and Sherwood.”

To find out more about the District Council’s commitment to protecting, maintaining and enhancing biodiversity and landscapes visit: