Children add finishing touches to new-look Watnall Green

GREEN FINGERS -- children of Watnall Preschool help the Mayor and representatives from the council and WREN with the improvements at Watnall Green.
GREEN FINGERS -- children of Watnall Preschool help the Mayor and representatives from the council and WREN with the improvements at Watnall Green.

Children from Watnall Preschool helped put the finishing touches to improvements at a local nature reserve that answered pleas from residents.

Watnall Green needed sprucing up, said residents when they were consulted by Broxtowe Borough Council in a short online questionnaire last summer.

So £24,000 has now been spent on sprucing up the popular open space. And ten youngsters from the preschool on Main Road, Watnall Road joined in the planting of flower bulbs to round off the worthwhile project.

They were praised by Councillor Richard Jackson, who is the council’s leader and portfolio holder for the environment and economic development. “I’d like to say a big thankyou to the children who braved the November weather to be part of this special occasion,” said Coun Jackson.

“The council is committed to providing high-quality parks and open spaces for Broxtowe residents to enjoy and is delighted that funding has been used to make much-needed improvements at this site.”

Other changes at Watnall Green include the boosting of wildflower areas, seating, access points and paths, the creation of a cornfield annual meadow and the establishment of a bird-feeding crop. All were identified within the consultation in which dozens of Watnall residents took part.

The youngsters were joined at the bulb-planting ceremony by the Mayor of Broxtowe, Councillor Susan Bagshaw, and her consort, Councillor David Bagshaw.

Also there were the council’s parks and open spaces officer, Chris Riley, and Cheryl Raynor, representing the WREN organisation.

Along with the council, WREN has provided valuable funding for the Watnall Green improvements. It is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, conservation and heritage projects from money raised through landfill tax, which is levied by waste and resource management company, FCC Environment.

Mrs Raynor, who is WREN’s grant manager, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the council and pleased that our funding has benefited the local community of Watnall.

“WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that make a difference to local communities, so we’re really pleased with the way this project has progressed.

“Seeing the children enjoy themselves by planting flower bulbs is the icing on the cake.”

The council is delighted that the idea of asking residents what they wanted has paid off. Said Councillor Greg Marshall: “We are proud of our open spaces and are always loooking at ways to improve them. But the views of residents are extremely important to ensure we make improvements that really matter.”

WATNALL Green is one of 13 designated local nature reserves that come under the auspices of Broxtowe Borough Council.

Spanning 1.9 hectares (or 4.7 acres), the site sits on the corner of Trough Road and Holly Road in Watnall. Its main wildlife habitats are grassland and hedgerow, which attract insects and birds. It is considered to be an area of significant environmental interest.

Other local nature reserves within Broxtowe are: Nottingham Canal, Bracmote Park woodland, Alexandrina Plantation in Bramcote, Stapleford Hill woodland, King George’s Park in Bramcote, Hall Om Wong in Kimberley, Brinsley Headstocks, Sandy Lane public open space in Bramcote, Toton Fields, Smithurst Meadows in Giltbrook, Watnall Spinney and Colliers Wood in Moorgreen.