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Landfill grant to fund new ponds at Castle Hill


A POPULAR country park in Leicester is set to be improved thanks to a £65,000 grant from Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Castle Hill Country Park, which borders Anstey and Beaumont Leys, will see a range of wetland improvements that will include the creation of
pond areas next to Rothley Brook and new planting in the park's existing flood relief basins to encourage new wildlife.

Richard Welburn, Leicester City Council head of parks and green spaces, said: "This award is fantastic news for Castle Hill Country Park and will allow us to make improvements that will have real lasting impact. The new wetland habitats will help promote greater bio-diversity on the park and are sure to become a popular attraction for visitors."

The project will create new pond areas which will be populated by fish from the brook when it is in spate, and which will remain in the ponds once the waters recede. New wildlife will also be encouraged through the planting of willow, alder, birch, and black poplar trees which help create wet woodland areas, a nationally endangered habitat type.

The project has been developed in consultation with the Friends of Castle Hill Country Park.

Adrian Barnes of the Friends of Castle Hill Country Parks said: “Receiving such a large grant is fabulous news for the Friends group and for the park so we are extremely grateful that Lefarge Aggregates & Concrete UK has made such funding possible. Since the creation of the Friends group three years ago we have managed to win local and national awards for our work but this is by far the largest grant and the biggest project that we have been involved in.

"We look forward to working with the city council's parks officers, who have all been wonderfully supportive of the Friends group and the park, in making this new and substantial feature a reality.”

Tim Deal, national mineral development manager at Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK (Syston), said: "At Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK we are committed to both supporting the communities in which we operate and to encouraging and enhancing biodiversity wherever possible. This a wonderful project for us to be involved in. It will help create new, nationally important habitats as well as benefiting local people who will be able to enjoy the improved scenery and wider variety of wildlife.

"We are delighted the work we have helped fund will provide a lasting natural legacy for families to appreciate right on their doorstep."

Work on the project is due to start in the autumn to avoid disturbing wildlife over the summer months. It is expected to be complete by the spring of 2012.


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