Midsomer Norton Town Park
Since the Town Park project gained planning consent for change of use of the site, and the acquisition of the land by the Town Council there has been a lot of behind the scenes work to ensure that changes to improve the park can be progressed safely and with minimal impact on the valuable ecology of the site.
It has always been the expectation that it will take a number of years to complete the park, with work being progressed in phase as streams of funding become available.
With some initial funding now in place, we are ready to progress phase 1 comprising the following:
- Improvements to the riverside footpath
- 5m wide compacted stone, shared pedestrian / cycle path as far as the interface with the proposed residential development at the eastern boundary (towards Wheelers Road).
- Two combined dog waste / litter bins and three seats along the path
- Ground investigation and contamination Studies – following discovery of very low levels of asbestos buried on site, it will be necessary to dig some further trial holes and undertake testing to gain a fuller picture of the extent of this contaminant in order to inform mitigation measures for the safety of all, both during the planned works and once the park is in full use.
- Celebration Meadow – creation of a grassy multifunctional recreation and events space, involving:
- re-profiling of the west and east ends to cover over the existing ditches and provide a smooth flow into the Celebration Meadow from the west entrance and better connection between the Celebration Meadow and Wild Meadow
- Re-grading and re-seeding to provide a more even grass surface.
- New steps linking between the Celebration Meadow and riverside path
- Installation of a permanent water and electricity supply for events use.
- Improved West Entrance – as part of future phases it is intended to provide an enhanced landscape space here to announce the entrance to the park, but lengthy discussion with the Environment Agency (who are responsible for maintenance of the river and the flood relief tunnel that runs under the space and along Gullock Tyning) have meant that for now, simple access improvements will be provided as follows:
- Fence to the rear of the Somer Centre re-aligned to provide wider access
- Lockable bollards to prevent un-authorised vehicle access
- Improved granular surface track from the end of Gullock Tyning into the Celebration Meadow.
- Amphitheatre – if budget permits the construction of the amphitheatre will be included, or at least some preliminary work for its subsequent construction. The amphitheatre will provide an interesting space for informal recreation as well as opening up the opportunity for planned events. Its construction will involve:
- Culverting over the ditch at the base of the batch
- Provision of grassy terraces that rise up the slope of the batch, retained by large Purbeck limestone boulders
- Greenway Link – recent clearance work has opened up a link from the Three Arches Greenway (the disused Somerset & Dorset railway line) down into the Wild Meadow, but this route is currently only suitable for the sure-footed. We will be providing:
- Very gently sloping access to connect across to the mid-level terrace on the batch, providing a fully accessible route to this level of the batch.
- Sloping path and steps down to the top corner of the Wild Meadow.
- Vegetation Management Following initial scrub clearance in Autumn 2018 and some further work in early spring 2019, we have been working with a firm of ecologists to determine the best means of managing the Celebration Meadow, Wild Meadow and Riverside path. Ongoing work in accordance with their advice is planned to:
- Control re-growth of excessive areas of bramble and nettles in the wild meadow and along the riverside path
- Gradual establishment of mown grass paths through the Wild Meadow
- Gradual development of a more diverse grassland meadow flora in the wild meadow.
- April 2019 – reptile and amphibian surveys undertaken
- May 2019 onwards – Celebration Meadow cut fortnightly
- 29th May – further trial holes to be dug in Celebration meadow for contamination testing.
- w/c 2nd June – riverside path works commence
- July – Town Fayre held on Celebration Meadow
- Late July – Amphitheatre, Celebration Meadow and Greenway link works commence
- Autumn 2019 – Tree planting along bank between riverside path & celebration meadow
Please bear with us while the works are underway. Whilst efforts will be made to minimise disruption, there will inevitably be some areas of the park that have to be closed to access during the works.
If any unforeseen problems should arise during the works, or if matters arise that are of concern to you, please contact Midsomer Norton Town Council at the Town Hall, The Island, Midsomer Norton Tel: 01761 418701
Pictured above is the plan for Phase 1.
Tree Works Application 18/05659/TCA – Click link below for more information