Images of the new Village Green area
Statutory legislation allows for the de-registration and exchange of Village Green land from one area to another. Accordingly, the proposals seek the 'release' of part of the existing Woodcock Hill Village Green and subsequent 'replacement' with a new and larger area of land adjacent to the south-west, which is then to be designated as part of the Woodcock Hill Village Green.
The proposals are summarised as follows:
This consultation relates solely to providing an enhanced Village Green for the local community. The following landscape masterplan illustrates how the proposals might look.
Existing woodland will be retained and further enhanced with some additional tree, understory, and ground flora planting of native species of local provenance. This will serve to increase the diversity of the habitat and provide enhanced opportunities for wildlife. Appropriate long-term management of the existing woodland, including selective thinning and removal of non-native species, will be carried out to ensure landscape and ecological value are maintained and enhanced.
Bird and bat boxes will be erected on suitable retained trees to further enhance the ecological value of the site.
Seating, natural watch stations or information boards will be provided around the woodland edges to give more opportunities for nature watching
Existing ponds to be retained and enhanced with additional aquatic and marginal planting and through a suitable long-term management regime.
Open Meadow Grassland and Rough Grassland
Existing semi-improved neutral grassland currently present on the replacement land will be transferred into areas of open meadow grassland and sowed with species-rich meadow mixtures. The open meadow grassland will occupy the central area of the proposed Village Green, supplemented with groups of native tree planting.
An informal surfaced path (such as hoggin path) runs in the south-west and north-east orientation which will provide a direct pedestrian route linking Woodcock Hill Village Green to the north-east and Barnet Lane to the south-west. These areas will provide an open space for the local users to carry out passive recreational activities such as walking, jogging, and resting.
Rough grassland with some loosely grouped tree planting is proposed around the two air shafts and will form a natural barrier to dissuade users from approaching the structures, but whilst maintaining a visual connection to them. An information board will detail the history of the air shafts, and detailed design can pick up key vistas to the air shafts, such as from pedestrian access points along Barnet Lane. The rough grassland will also contribute to the local wildlife habitat and further enhance the ecological value of the site.
New woodland and the associated understory and ground flora planting will be provided to the western boundary. These new planting areas will accommodate a pedestrian route through the woodland, with dynamic views along the route, such as channelled views along the woodland, with sudden open views available to the meadow grassland to the east, and semi-open views within woodland glade. Natural play opportunities, such as den making, will be provided along the walk.
The new woodland will also enhance the existing hedgerows and trees and ensure continued and enhanced habitat connectivity.
A proposed ‘forage’ walk will incorporate orchard tree planting of local varieties and edible native fruit-bearing shrubs, and with seating opportunities through the provision of benches or picnic tables along the path. Plant palette oriented towards ‘naturalistic style of planting’ with native or semi-ornamental species. The fruit-bearing species will also provide seasonal foraging opportunities for local wildlife, such as birds, bats, and badgers.
Play on the Way
Timber based trim-trails will be provided along the mown path that provides a direct footpath link to the Woodcock Hill Village Green to the west, and along a secondary mown path around the air shafts to create a loop route for children that may want to spend more time playing on the trim-trails.
Outdoor gym equipment will be provided in several locations which will provide a variety of exercise opportunities for those walking or jogging around the Village Green.
Are there any additional features, environmental or community benefits that you would like to see incorporated into the proposals for the new Village Green?
Indicative Village Green images