The development of Moulden Hill Country Park in North Swindon and the third phase of Shaw Forest Park in West Swindon will be discussed at the West Swindon Forum on Monday 10 November, in the Link Centre community suite.
The two areas have been in development for well over ten years but plans are now being finalised for improvements which will allow the public to fully access them over the next few years.
Above, the Mayor of Swindon, Steve Wakefield, waiting for the steam railway to arrive at Moulden Hill. Below, the Mayor with landscape architect Russell Weymouth
The February Link magazine featured plans for Moulden Hill which is being created by Swindon Council with major input from the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust and the Swindon & Cricklade Railway Society. An entrance road and a car park was to be built in time for the summer but evidence of great crested newts close to the canal was found which meant a delay until a major environmental study was completed.
Swindon Council landscape architect Russell Weymouth, said, “we have approval for the access road and car park, so that people don’t have to park on Thamesdown Drive as they have for some time, a grass football pitch for juniors close to the entrance, a multi-use all weather surface and possibly a cricket pitch.
We’re also in discussion with our partners for a building which could serve as changing rooms, visitor centre and perhaps a train station in the future. At present we’re undertaking detailed designs and costing the project and I welcome a discussion at the West Swindon Forum to get public reaction to the outline scheme.”
A mile away another major outdoor project is just being launched: the third phase of the huge Shaw Forest Park development, below. The redevelopment of the first phases next to Mead Way is nearing completion, with some 70,000 trees planted over the last 15 years. In the last twelve months footpaths have been laid, a car park created and fenced off, a flat games area seeded and final land shaping undertaken.
The third phase, between Shaw Forest and the Gloucester railway line was used for dry landfill until 2006. Over the next four years it will be capped with a further twenty feet of clay and top soil, landscaped and trees planted, before a network of footpaths is made to eventually give public access.
The project will be undertaken by Swindon Council’s Waste Services department, who have commissioned a film featuring West Swindon residents enjoying Shaw Forest and describing the next phase of work. Representatives of Waste Services will attend the forum to show the film and discuss the work to be undertaken and explain how it will be linked in with Shaw Forest and the River Ray Parkway.
Above, Swindon waste services site manager Bob Fisher with West Swindon councillor Nick Martin on phase 3
• The Forum is a meeting point for the West Swindon councillors and residents interested in discussing community issues. The meeting on 10 November starts at 7.30pm. Residents from other parts of Swindon are welcome to attend.
Shaw Forest DVD
For a free copy explaining the work to be undertaken, call Bob Fisher on 07786 020886