Families delighted after saving green space earmarked for woodland
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 February 2020
Families living close to a controversial rewilding site in Nailsea are delighted the popular green space has been saved.
People from Nightingale Gardens were outraged when the green outside their homes was earmarked for woodland as part of North Somerset Council's rewilding scheme.
The neighbours found out about the plans when they received a letter from the council asking for volunteers to plant almost 300 trees on the site, which would have left just a small area of short grass.
Louise Luft, who has four children who regularly use the green, said: "I'm delighted. I'm glad they listened to our opinions.
"This was the only site in the plan with houses all along the area.
"All the others were totally different.
"When we heard about it, I was really angry and upset.
"My children regularly use it for football and with their scooters and skateboards.
"It would have been a huge loss, as lots of people use it on a daily basis, especially in the summer.
"I think rewilding is really important for the environment, but it was a really poor choice to put it there."
A Nailsea councillor has confirmed the site is no longer allocated for trees, thanks to the efforts of concerned neighbours.
An alternative site close to the police and fire station headquarters in Pound Lane has been suggested by residents.
North Somerset Council begins its ambitious rewilding programme with the planting of 188 trees at Watchhouse Hill in Pill at 9am on Saturday, followed by 234 trees at Badger Rise in Portishead at 1.30pm.
The authority is planting 5,000 trees over the next few weeks, with sites in Clevedon, Wraxall and Nailsea on the list.
Rewilding involves creating more habitats for wildlife to flourish, increase biodiversity and help mitigate the effects of climate change.
The council identified possible sites before holding a three-month consultation so people could voice their views on the proposal.
Rewilding will be delivered in two ways - by planting more trees and encouraging tall grass.
The local authority aims to plant 25 hectares of woodland - around 50,000 trees - and grow about 40 hectares of tall grass, reducing the areas of regularly mown grass by 25 per cent.