Our City, Our River project begins across Derby Parks

Tue 26 Feb 2019

Our City, Our River (OCOR) work commences this week at Bass’ Recreational Ground, Pride Park, Alvaston Park and Darley and Nutwood Local Nature Reserve.

The planned works, which is part of Project Munio environmental enhancements, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will create a more diverse riverside environment and open up views of the river to the city.

There will be selected removal of dead or self-set trees and vegetation to open up the views of the river, as part of OCOR’s 2012 Masterplan and the removal of deadwood from the tree crowns and trees which have fallen into the river.

The work will also tackle the management of invasive non-native species, such as Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed. This will promote growth by opening up of areas beneath the trees to allow for native marginal planting to help create a diverse riverside environment.

Replanting and seeding work will follow to create wildflower and picnic areas along this stretch riverside.

The installation of new habitats such as bird and bat boxes will provide news spaces for wildlife in the area, as well as habitat improvement works including artificial otter holts.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection said:

 “The OCOR project is about bringing the river back into the city. This vital tree management will not only help to maintain the trees and protect existing wildlife species but will also open views to the Derwent in our open spaces along the river banks.”

Councillor Alan Grimadell, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism added:

 “The hope is that with these environmental works, the river will become part of Derby again and create a much more enjoyable riverside experience within walking distance from the city centre.”

Preparation work begins this week in the River Gardens, as the Derby City Council’s Our City, Our River project is due to start this summer.

To prepare the River Gardens for regeneration and flood defence delivery, around 40 trees, including some that are in poor condition will be removed ready for work to begin this summer.

As part of the delivery of the project the planting of new trees will be carried out. Further environmental management works are also to be carried out along the river.

The Munio works will see the existing River Gardens redeveloped, as well as the installation of substantial flood defences along the west river bank adjacent to the Council House. The flood defences will be integrated into the landscape design of the River Gardens to minimise the impact and maximise this opportunity to revamp the garden area.

The £95million OCOR project has been developed to reduce flood risk through long-term, and sustainable economic development, creating a high quality riverside, linking the city centre with the river. Landscaping work, which is subject to full planning, will see the space be newly designed and include an outdoor performance space next to the river. There will also be comprehensive habitat creation and replanting scheme. Recent public safety concerns in the River Garden area have been considered and significantly influenced the proposed new layout.

Councillor Alan Grimadell, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:

“We’re taking this opportunity, whilst the flood defence work is being undertaken. This is a fantastic redevelopment and will rejuvenate the River Gardens to create a more attractive open space within the heart of the city.”

David Jennings, Chair of the Friends of the River Gardens group, said:

“The River Gardens have been neglected over the years and I see that this scheme can only improve the area, as well the incorporation of with lighting, which will help with security. With the investment in the Silk Mill happening too, things are really looking great for the people of Derby.”

Environmental work began on Monday 25th February and will be completed by the end of March.

The £95million OCOR project has been developed to reduce long-term flood risk as well as managing and maintaining the open spaces along the riverside and linking the city centre with the river.