Plans for a major new wildlife habitat in Chester are in the running for a national landscape architecture award.
The Chester Wetland Centre will see the creation of valuable wetland habitats on and around the Countess of Chester Country Park.
Besides bringing more wildlife to the area, the project will help remove pollution from a stream running through the park and enable a range of community and educational activities to take place.
After two years of planning and consultation the CWC has now been shortlisted as a finalist in the Landscape Institute’s award for Excellence in Biodiversity Conservation and Enhancement.
Being in the running for such a prestigious award will hopefully help the team, behind the CWC, secure the funding needed for its construction - once the necessary permissions and consents have been obtained.
Dr Christian Dunn, a wetland scientist at Bangor University who is from Chester and one the founders of the CWC said: “It’s fantastic to see the Chester Wetland Centre being shortlisted for such a prestigious national award already.
“I’m really pleased the idea a few of us had in a pub a couple of years ago has now built-up such momentum and has so many brilliant organisations and people supporting it.”
“Once it’s built, we will have created a fabulous wetland habitat just next to the hospital in Chester for people to enjoy and wildlife to thrive in,” he added.
Andy Scargill, chair of the Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park, said: “Everyone we’ve spoken to about the project has been so supportive, and thanks to folk at the Environment Agency and Cheshire West and Chester our original idea has grown and grown.”
The environmental consultancy firm, Binnies, were commissioned by the Land Trust, who own the park, to undertake the feasibility study and outline design for the CWC, funded through the Environment Agency’s Water Environment Improvement Fund.
Binnies’ Landscape Technical Director, Mark Boothroyd, said, ‘Being shortlisted as a finalist in the Landscape Institute Awards is brilliant news for the project, coming just as we start work on the next stage, developing the detailed design.
“It’s great to see recognition for the innovative and excellent work the team has put into this project.”
Nigel Glasgow, Area Environment Manager for Cheshire at the Environment Agency said: “It is fantastic to see the Chester Wetland Centre being shortlisted for such a prestigious award.
“This exciting project will not only improve water quality of the River Dee, but the creation of wetlands and woodland will also help to fight against the impacts of climate change and will create more habitats for local wildlife.”
Besides the Land Trust, Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park, Binnies and Bangor University other key partners in the project are the Environment Agency, Cheshire West and Chester Council and The Conservation Volunteers.
The Landscape Institute’s award ceremony will be held in London on 24th November, where the team will find out if they’ve won.
To find out more about the progress of the Chester Wetland Centre follow the hashtag:
#ChesterWetlandCentre on Twitter.
The Landscape Institute (LI) is the chartered body for the landscape profession. It is an educational charity that promotes the art and science of landscape practice.
Dr Christian Dunn is a senior lecturer and wetland scientist at Bangor University in North Wales, UK. He is the Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Sustainability, Associate Director of the Bangor Wetlands Group and Director of the Plastic Research Centre of Wales.
The Land Trust is a national land management charity that provides cost effective management solutions for open space and green infrastructure. We use our spaces to deliver positive interventions that provide significant community benefits, including improving health, social cohesion, providing an educational resource and uplifting the local economy. Further information is available at:
Contact: Emma Grimster:
Binnies is a leading UK and Chester-based environmental and engineering consultancy focussed on the development and delivery of sustainable critical infrastructure in water, transport and energy. We work with our clients and communities to develop innovative and nature-based solutions that deliver lasting environmental value and social benefit. Binnies are part of the RSK Group, further information is available at:
Pictured - What the current site at the Countess of Chester Country Park looks like.