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Work on new Central Park ponds to begin

23 September 2022

Work on Central Park’s newest attraction is set to begin next month.

A network of ponds and features to capture rainwater will be built near the existing pond at the Barn Park Road entrance, turning this corner into a home for wildlife as well as somewhere for people to enjoy the surroundings.

It is part of a system that uses sustainable drainage that also includes a swale - a shallow channel to capture water run-off – to allow nature to help reduce the localised flooding that occurs in this part of the park.

Repairs to drains and paths as well as the addition of a number of new trees around this area to help contribute to improved air quality and increase biodiversity in the park are also on the list.

Councillor Bill Wakeham, Cabinet member for the Environment and Street Scene, said: “Central Park has long been one of the city’s most-loved green spaces – adored and visited by residents for generations.

“These works are essential to ensuring that this part of the park is protected from our ever-changing climate and while it may not look a bit muddy while work is ongoing, it will soon flourish into a place where people can come and enjoy the water and the diverse wildlife that the new ponds will encourage.”

Planning permission for the project was initially approved in July 2020, but was revised in early 2022 with measures to further benefit wildlife and give the scheme a more natural aesthetic, while also addressing some comments received during the consultation for the first planning application.

A stylised image of how the ponds will look when work is complete

The designs show vegetated walls planted with wildflower seed mixes and spaces for residents to enjoy the new ponds, with opportunities for education and engagement to learn about water and wildlife.

Works will begin in October and are expected to be complete by next summer.

For the first four months of the works, there will be a day time closure on Coronation Avenue, which links Milehouse Park and Ride with the Barn Park corner.

The closure will only effect the bottom half of the path, with pedestrians and dismounted cyclists diverted through Pounds Park. The closure will be lifted at weekends and in the evenings and local signage will be in place.  

These improvements are part of the Green Minds project. This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.

Find out more about Central Park