Thongsbridge Wild Space will provide local people and visitors with a destination to engage with nature for a variety of activities such as walking, picnicking, naturalist studies (botany, bird watching), foraging, traditional skill development (carving, coppicing, willow weaving) and an enhanced wild area for children to play in.
Paths will allow easy access for wheelchair and buggy users to utilise the space and enjoy abundant wildlife. The new woodland and wildflower meadows will attract a variety of butterflies, moths and other critters to watch and identify.
Thongsbridge Wild Space will be a brilliant resource for local schools to utilise as a forest school area and for environmental studies. The tree species planted in the woodland will be 'working wood' species, perfect for demonstrating carving and coppicing techniques.
The project will also create a quiet and aesthetically pleasing space that is accessible for all, with an enjoyable picnic space for families and friends.
What we'll deliver:
- install 283 metres of footpath (150m of hardstanding, 133m of mown grass)
- create a hardstanding picnic area
- plant a wildflower meadow
- plant a woodland wildflower bed
- plant 210 native trees
- lead 7 volunteer tasks to create the Wild Space
Why it's a great idea:
The Thongsbridge Wild Space will enhance the local community by providing a green space that will support the wellbeing of visitors and encourage outdoor learning for a wide age-range.
The wild area will increase biodiversity and support native wildlife whilst combatting climate change via sequestering of CO2. There will be ample foraging opportunities in order to encourage natural use of the wild space.
This project provides a great space for outdoor learning for young people and encourages engagement with wildlife and the environment.
Installation of a picnic area and easy-access paths gives local families a great space for meeting up and socialising whilst surrounded by nature. Green spaces like this can also support good mental health.
Thongsbridge Wild Space will provide the local community with a creative space for woodcarving, willow-weaving and coppicing using natural resources. These historical creative activities can be used to develop a sense of local heritage.
Steps to get it done:
- Buying meadow wildflower seeds and woodland wildflower seeds
- Preparation of wildflower and woodland seed beds using turf cutter and rotavator
- Treatment of invasive species on site (Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam)
- Spreading wildflower seeds
- Planting 210 trees
- Erecting temporary fencing to protect meadow
- Laying 150m of hardstanding path
- Mowing 133m of grass path
- Laying crushed stone to make the picnic area
Thongsbridge Wild Space will not affect the current football pitch on site, but rather enhance the space around it, allowing the pitch to be retained to support local sport groups.
The wildflowers chosen for the wildflower meadow and woodland meadow will all be local species. These include red campion, knapweed, yarrow, meadow buttercup, yellow rattle, garlic mustard and wood avens.
The working wood tree species being planted include Silver birch, Wild cherry, Common Oak, Rowan, Common Hazel, Grey Willow and Field Maple