A resident’s suggestion for a picnic area to be created within the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve has been given a cautious welcome by the voluntary group that helps maintain it.
The Journal understands the suggestion was made at a recent Town Councillor Surgery event (held monthly at the Willow Brook Centre) and it was passed to local nature expert John Morris of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group for comment.
SGC has said that it would be unable to supply and maintain the facility but it has been suggested that the Town Council could take out a licence to install a picnic area and maintain it for an agreed number of years.
In his response to the Town Council, Mr Morris wrote:
“It’s my opinion that given the right location a small area that has a few picnic benches would enhance the site and not detract from the designation of a nature reserve. You would ideally place it near the lake, in a place that would get flooded.”
“The one area I was thinking of is in fact over a sewer pipe and air vent so it probably wouldn’t be nice to site it there. It’s worth a look though.”
“As long as we aren’t thinking of a children’s playground then I would support the idea.”
[Ed: The spot Mr Morris refers to is believed to be the triangular section of grass at the bottom right of the photo above.]
Emma Creasey, on behalf of the conservation group, replied:
“We are pleased to be consulted about this as, since you say, it is about thinking what the nature reserve is used for. In general we wouldn’t like to change its use, although more seating benches throughout the site might be nice.”
“We are all fairly unanimous in thinking that the most suitable area would be next to the lake, as this area is already heavily used and is already very popular, so benches would be most likely to be used, plus you wouldn’t be taking traffic to a more sensitive area of the site.”
“We wouldn’t want anything more formal than a few benches – maybe a couple of tables.”
Ms Creasey stressed that the conservation group would not be prepared to look after the facility and that litter bins would have to be provided and emptied by the Councils. She continued:
“We are worried about vandalism, especially fire, and the increased likelihood – indeed certainty – of litter. We are speaking from sad experience of this – as you will know, the beautiful carved benches have been the subject of arson attacks, so a plain bench would certainly be fair game. The Town Council should consider this in their discussions.”
The Town Council’s Leisure, Youth & Amenities Committee, meeting on Monday, concluded that the idea “would be feasible” and agreed to put it forward as one of five Bradley Stoke projects to be considered for funding through the New Homes Bonus grant scheme.
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