As part of the new development, there will be several new recreational open spaces for residents to enjoy the natural environment. These open spaces will include parks and gardens, public open spaces, children’s play areas, playing pitches, allotments and nature parks.
Nature parks are designed to attract residents and dog walkers as an alternative to the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area, which supports rare ground nesting birds such as the dartford warbler, woodlark and nightjar and is highly sensitive to visitors.
The nature parks to be provided as part of the South Wokingham major development area include:
- Montague nature park – Located in the Montague Park development north of the railway. It is now open to the public
- The southern part of the development will include nature parks. Details will emerge through the planning application
Montague Park update - 13 November 2020
It has come to our attention that there is some misleading information being circulated regarding works to the park at Montague Park and so we wanted to take this opportunity to give you the facts.
The recent works that you may have seen taking place on site are to support the development of the wildflower meadow on a section of the park. The requirement for this land to be a wildflower meadow is a condition of the planning permission, and also a requirement of the Natural England guidelines for the creation of the park.
There is a three stage process that needs to happen in order to create the wildflower meadow at Montague Park:
- The treatment and removal of weeds
- Preparation of the ground for the wildflower seed mix
- Sowing of the soil with the wildflower seed mix
We understand that David Wilson Homes (DWH) have now largely completed these three stages on site, although some patches remain as the ground was too wet and these will need to be rectified in spring next year.
We are aware of reports that members of the public have been challenging the contractor who is undertaking the works and preventing the workers from finishing their tasks. As well as the health and safety risks to the public of approaching the machinery, this disruption causes further delays to the schedule. This in turn pushes us further into the winter months and puts the success of the establishment of the meadow at risk.
Whilst the Council has been working closely with DWH, it is important to note that DWH is the land owner of the park and it is their contractors who are carrying out the works on site. The Council is able to advise DWH on matters relating to the park but does not have direct control. It is DWH's responsibility to keep residents informed of works taking place at the park and we have reminded them that they must do this moving forward.