Main construction work at Salisbury River Park will begin in June
Major construction work at Salisbury’s River Park is due to begin next month.
Preliminary work, which began in January to prepare the site, is now complete.
The project is a partnership between the Environment Agency, Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council and the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Ron Curtis, Head of Floods and Coastal Hazards at the Environment Agency, said: ‘We have reached the important milestone of preparing the site of the Salisbury River Park, ready for construction which will start later. This year.
“This is the first step towards better flood protection for the city. We know the devastating impact floods can have, which is why protecting people and communities is our top priority.
When completed, the project will reduce flood risk for over 350 homes and businesses in Salisbury and provide significant environmental, amenity, walking and cycling benefits.
Some trees and vegetation needed to be cleared and this work was completed early in the project to ensure the trees were removed before the nesting season.
Once construction is complete, the project team will plant six times as many trees as they removed and many of the felled trees will be reused on the site.
Improving biodiversity is a key element of this project.
Recently, water voles within the site boundaries have been trapped and relocated to specially prepared habitat on the River Avon downstream near Ringwood.
Voles are closely watched in their new home to ensure they thrive and establish a new community.
After relocating water voles from the area, the crew destroyed burrows to prevent more voles from settling in before construction began. This was carried out under the supervision of specialized ecologists.
The bank was temporarily covered with a membrane to prevent other animals from burrowing.
Work on this canal is due to begin in July, when the membrane will be removed and the bank fully excavated.
This is as soon as possible to minimize the risk to juvenile fish.
Throughout the work, conservationists are on site to monitor and monitor other animals, including otters and nesting birds, to ensure that none of the work causes them harm.
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scenes and Flooding, added: ‘It is a key priority for us that Wiltshire’s natural beauty, historic sites, homes and unique habitats and wildlife are protected and nurtured. The Salisbury River Park project is an exciting project that fully embraces these aims, and we look forward to work beginning in earnest in the months ahead.
The objectives of the program include:
- Create wildlife corridors and improve biodiversity.
- Improving recreation and amenities – creating better green spaces in which to spend time.
• Expand and improve the network of footpaths and cycle paths in the region, as well as the improvement of parking for coaches.
• Improve resilience to climate change.
• Improve the tourist offer in Salisbury
CEO of Paddy Bradley, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “We welcome the completion of this first stage of work for the Salisbury River Park.
“The works undertaken will help create an attractive environment, increasing habitat and biodiversity for future generations while reducing the risk of flooding to the city.
“Every measure has been taken to minimize the impact of this temporary habitat loss and we look forward to seeing the improvement of wetland and woodland habitats and the rewilding of this important chalk stream environment. international.”
Full site mobilization will begin in mid-late June with the establishment of site complexes at the central long-term car park and Ashley Road open space.
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