Friends of Bucknall Park

Friends of Bucknall Park

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The River Trent meandering through Bucknall Park

The River Trent

Bucknall Park is the only site in Stoke-on-Trent where the public can freely access the river in its natural state. The Friends Group together with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust are committed to ensuring this access continues and the quality of the river is improved to the benefit of the local community and to the city in general.

The first stage in this was the removal of the old weir which was proving to be a barrier to fish and wildlife migration. This has proved totally successful and the Friends group is seeking funding to make the area around the old weir site more accessible and to improve the facilities around that area. The first part of this plan was the recent commissioning and installation of the River Information Board.

The site of the old weir

Proposed Improvements to Bucknall Park

The old cricket pitch was sown with wildflower seeds in the hope it would grow into a wildflower meadow thus attracting more wildlife and improve the visual attraction of that part of the park. Unfortunately this was not successful and after prolonged discussions funding has been put in place to significantly alter the area.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Rivers are looking at diverting the small brook to the rear of the old cricket pitch where the meadow is now. The idea is to meander the brook through this piece of land (with a light touch) wetting this area more which will attract a range of invertebrates, small mammals, insects and birds. This will be run through a culvert under the existing path into the Trent.

There is also some budget available to re-profile a some small sections of river bank to naturalise it further and a plan to reintroduce gravels that are important for spawning and habitats.

There is a plan to introduce some woody debris into the river which slows the flow and helps to grade (gravels as mentioned above). This also provides cover and habitat. All these works have been designed to improve this stretch of river and, as monitoring is showing, is proving to be working.

Unfortunately we do not have budget to work on any of the ornamental or specimen trees within the park but we will be looking for woody debris for the river work so it could be likely that a small amount of tree work will be required along the course of the river, However, its most likely that trees such as sycamore will be targeted for this.