Wild Banbury set to improve Spiceball and Hanwell Brook

Wild Banbury NNL-160525-093041001
Wild Banbury NNL-160525-093041001

The second phase of the Wild Banbury project that is set to continue the transformation of Banbury’s Spiceball Park over the next three years will officially begin in July.

More than £93,000 of new funding from the Heritage Fund and a further £64,000 from Banbury Town Council, £4,000 from Cherwell District Council and £27,295 from Grundon will finance the projects.

During the last 18 months the River Cherwell has been re-landscaped with new banks planted up with native wild flowers. Bridges and benches were also added so that more people can stroll beside the river looking out for kingfishers, otters and other wildlife.

The new project will again concentrate on improving the park to encourage wildlife and will include the creation of ponds, the management of trees and reed beds and the installation of bird boxes.

The funding also allows the Hanwell Brook wetland to be improved as that part of the town sees growth in house building in the area.

Neil Clennell, the Wildlife Trust’s director of conservation and education in Oxfordshire said: “The River Cherwell is an important tributary of the River Thames.

“Spiceball Park, which is owned by Banbury Town Council, is a well-used amenity, but until we started work last autumn the river was almost hidden from people walking and cycling. Improving the wildlife habitats through Spiceball Park is increasing the river’s biodiversity, and many more people are watching wildlife from the riverside walk.”

Banbury Museum will also become involved. Suzi Wild, the education manager, said: “We are one of the partners and will hold nature walks and family event days.”