Environment

Wildflower Planting - June 2020 Update

The wildflower areas would have needed to be sown with new seed by mid-April at the latest to provide the usual display for the summer months and, due to the Covid-19 situation, the Partnership Team faced difficulties with staffing as some members of the Team were off with issues related to the virus and others were deployed to carry out other essential duties.  It was necessary to consider the service delivery at the time and what could realistically be carried out in light of the crisis as services such as bin emptying and street cleansing had to continue throughout the Town.

We appreciate that the wildflowers are very attractive and well received by all but, taking into account the situation and after discussion with colleagues in the Partnership Team, it was agreed not to plant this year and to mow the areas.  The wildflower planting will be carried out again for 2021.

The Team continued to carry out grass cutting and all other planting plans for the Town have gone ahead over the past few weeks.

The Town Council would like to thank our Partnership Team for Blyth and the team at the Stakeford Nursery for all the work they have done during this difficult time to make sure we could still provide some beautiful planting around the Town.

COVID-19 Important Notice

Due to the current coronavirus situation and other issues, both projects to refurbish Bowes Street and High Street have been delayed significantly. All of the planters were purchased and plants were grown to order, therefore they will be temporarily placed around the town until they can be placed in their final locations on Bowes Street and High Street when the projects are completed.

BOWES STREET

This major project, initiated by Blyth Town Council, has now been incorporated into Northumberland County Council’s Local Transport Plan (LTP).  NCC carried out a consultation and plans were available to view at the Town Forum Showcase Event on the Market Place in September 2019.  Although the major works will be carried out by the County Council, the Town Council is still making a contribution to the development by installing new decorative lighting columns, planters and planting and new seating and planting outside Wilko.

High Street Car Parks

As the Bowes Street project is now in the LTP, the Town Council consulted with the County Council on a strategy to improve the High Street Car Park.  This area is in need of improvement as the wooden planters have become rotten, some have been damaged by cars and the shrubs and bushes are a litter trap as well as the planters being used as litter bins.  While the planters have been repaired in the past and are constantly litter-picked it was felt that a longer term solution was needed to tidy and brighten this area which still has to function as a car park.  The car park beside the High Street Social Club will have the beds removed and replaced with planters.

Click here to view the plan (Opens in a new window).

Undertaking the improvement of the car park area is necessary to remove the existing trees that are in the planters and are generally not in good condition.  This is being done in consultation and with the advice of Leon Savage, the County Council’s Tree and Woodland Officer.  The Town Council is purchasing 67 trees to replace those being removed.  A combination of Giant Precinct Planters and Tiered Beehive planters will be used to replace the wooden planters and these will be planted with a mixture of trees and flowers.

As not all of these trees can be used in the area of the car parks they will be planted in other locations in the Town. 

TREES AND ADDITIONAL PLANTING

Town Centre

The 67 trees being purchased are a mixture of native varieties and fruit trees and have been chosen by the County Council’s Tree and Woodland Officer.  The Giant Precinct Planters will allow fruit trees to be planted at the High Street Car Parks, in Bowes Street and Church Street. 

While the Town Forum is working on long-term plans for the regeneration of the Town Centre, the Town Council have decided to continue to implement additional planting where possible.  Planters will be used so that they can be relocated if necessary once plans are known for the Market Place.

We are reinstating the large square planters that were located on the granite plinths in the Market Place.  These were bought for that area in 2013.  They were removed as a result of vandalism and relocated around the town.  We will be using some of the planters that were moved from the Quayside to replace these in their current locations.  These large planters will be planted with fruit trees.   An additional 8 Beehive planters have been bought for Market Street.

It is the intention to buy Promenade Planters for the Quayside as these are more suitable for locating along a path.  They will be planted with seaside plants to compliment the area.  Plans for Parsons Street involve removal of the existing brick planter and the reinstatement of the paving.  The seat will be replaced and the old planter replaced by two of the planters moved from the Quayside planted with fruit trees.  Two additional beehive planters will be bought for either side of the seat. These plans are subject to approval by the Environment Committee.

The remainder of the planters that were moved from the Quayside will be relocated around the Town and their location will be decided after discussion with the Partnership Team.

Tree Planting at Meggie’s Burn

The Town Council have purchased 1,400 saplings which have been planted in conjunction with the Partnership Team, Blyth Community Volunteers and other interested groups on the stretch of grassed area between Links Road and Meggies Burn.

This is an area that has been identified as suitable for extensive tree planting that will have no negative impact on the public and the trees will be able to grow and develop to their full potential without future worries regarding size. There will also be the added amenity value of a small woodland not to mention the bonus to wildlife, especially birds both resident and migratory.  A wildflower mix could also be added to further enhance the biodiversity of the area. 

We planted the trees on 19 and 20 February.  Thank you to everyone who joined us over the course of the two days.

Click here to read a summary of the event from Alison on behalf of Blyth Town Council.

Click here to see the article from The Journal (Opens in a new window).

   

All pictures are available in our gallery: Click here to view Tree Planting 1 (Opens in a new window) and Click here to view Tree Planting 2 (Opens in a new window)

Urban Tree Challenge Fund

In addition to the trees being planted by the Town Council, we have been informed by Leon Savage, Tree and Woodland Officer, that Northumberland County Council have been successful in a bid through the Forestry Commission to plant 633 large trees in Northumberland.  The Urban Tree Challenge Fund has been developed in response to the government’s commitment to provide £10 million for planting both large and small trees in and around towns and cities in England.

As a result of this the following number of trees will be planted in Blyth

Location Number of trees

Ridley Park

35

New Delaval Park

13

Hodgsons Road

15

Briardale Road

30

Ogle Drive

25

Shipyard Flats

13

Albion Retail Centre

13

Cowpen Road

13

Barrier Planters and Spring Bulbs

An additional 15 barrier planters have been bought to complete the stretch on Cowpen Road outside Horton Grange School.

Spring bulb planting has been carried out at Links View, Newsham and Portland Wynd roundabout.