Golf course could be allowed to go wild to give nature a helping hand

PUBLISHED: 07:20 20 November 2019

Ann Townsend, Janet Davey and supporters  with the new signs installed by North Somerset Council.     

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Ann Townsend, Janet Davey and supporters with the new signs installed by North Somerset Council. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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Portishead's former golf course could be allowed to go wild as part of plans to combat climate change and boost biodiversity.

North Somerset Council wants to plant trees and let grass grow freely at the defunct club, in Nore Road, as part of its climate emergency initiative.

The council, which owns the site, had leased the land for the nine-hole course, which has been closed since 2018.

The course's once neatly manicured greens and fairways could soon become home to greenery and wildlife as part of North Somerset's rewilding programme, which seeks to plant 50,000 trees across the district.

Adrian Stiff, who ran the club, said: "It seems a nice idea to let the area go back to nature.

"The new trees have been located on the lower land so not to pose any problem with residents' views from Nore Road."

The golf course's future remains a contentious topic in the town, with campaigners vying to protect it from development.

A lot of the tree planting is planned elsewhere in Portishead.

Other sites in the town include Badger Rise, Blackdown Road, Avon Way, Hallets Way, The Vale, Brampton Way, Battery Point, Ham Green, Lake Grounds, Kittiwake Drive, Robin Place, Central Park and Merlin Park.

The council also hopes to rewild parts of Elm Farm, Pound Lane and Blackthorn Way in Nailsea, Chestnut Grove in Clevedon, and Ladye Bay in Walton St Mary.

North Somerset, which has launched a public consultation on the proposals, has affirmed it is 'committed to rewilding'.

Its spokesman said: "Rewilding seeks to change the way open spaces are managed to allow nature to reinstate a more natural environment to benefit both biodiversity and local communities.

"We are committed to rewilding our parks, open spaces and verges across the district. In order to achieve this, we are planning to change some of our maintenance programmes.

"This will primarily include planting more trees and allowing some areas of grass to grow taller.

"We want to know your opinion about our proposals and would also like to know of any further locations you think may be suitable for rewilding."

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