Newark and Sherwood District Council unveils plans to reinvigorate Sherwood Avenue Park, which were shaped by ideas and feedback from the local community.
The proposed plans for the site include a number of exciting features, with areas built for all sections of the local community including:
The Welcome Area – Visitors will be greeted into the park through this area which will feature a range of planting, from meadow-style planting to a new avenue of ornamental trees. New and improved park entrances will be created, one for pedestrian visitors and another for vehicle access.
There will be an outdoor area for local traders and artists such as local coffee or food businesses, or local performers and entertainers!
The Active Zone – All ages and abilities will be able to enjoy the new Active Zone, which includes a variety of areas for fun and fitness including:
– A brand new, state-of-the-art skate park in the site’s old lido. Plans for this have been developed with the help of local skate groups.
– A skate park rest area
– A multi-use sports pitch
– A free ride area for biking and skating
– A fitness trail with a selection of outdoor exercise equipment
– A spiralling grass staircase-like trail for visitors to walk up and view across the park, with a mounted plaque to show the direction and distances to local sites such as Newark Castle.
The Nature Zone – A Silver Birch avenue will lead park visitors into the Nature Zone along a wheelchair-friendly path made from recycled materials such as brick, slate, wood and gravel. Visitors will be able to enjoy nature peacefully tucked away on a bench or with friends on the recycled tree log seating areas.
This area has been designed with biodiversity and wildlife at the heart of the plans, with new habitat areas such as log piles, insect houses, bat boxes and hedgehog hides all included. An extensive planting programme will also take place to benefit pollinators and foraging wildlife including the creation of 500 square meters of wildflower meadow and the planting of 40 new trees, 250m of hedgerow, 5000 bulbs and a fruit-bearing orchard.
The Play Zone – Designed with creative play and fun in mind, this area will be the perfect spot for children to enjoy the outdoors. Children will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they whiz along a zip line under a canopy of trees and splash their toes in the Splash Area with a water rill and water-play equipment! A new and refurbished play area with ten pieces of accessible play equipment is also included in the plans, and parents will be able to relax in seated areas with a full view of the zone to keep an eye out as their family enjoy the park.
The plans to reinvigorate the site were developed using the results of the consultation and feedback shared by residents, local community groups and schools, and the District Council has been working closely with partners from Newark Town Council and Nottinghamshire Police to ensure these ideas were captured in the plans. One of the ideas that came from the consultation was featuring a Splash Pad and, whilst Sherwood Avenue isn’t a suitable location for this brilliant suggestion, the idea was so well received that the District Council is looking at the possibility of implementing it elsewhere in Newark.
Councillor Emma Oldham, Portfolio Holder for Biodiversity and Environmental Services at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “These plans are a wonderful example of the community coming together to create something really special. Your views and ideas helped to shape the future of Sherwood Avenue Park and I hope that everyone can see their feedback captured in the plans and are excited to see this green space once again become a hub of activity and socialising!
“We know that our beautiful local parks and green spaces are vital to helping wildlife and biodiversity thrive, and we also know that they are important to our residents as a space to socialise, exercise or simply to get outdoors and find some peace and quiet. I hope residents are as excited as we are to see these plans come to life and I encourage you to get in touch to tell us what you think!”
Located just outside of the market and retail heart of Newark Town Centre, the park currently features a skate park, play area, and multi-use games area, in a sunken part of the park which once housed the town’s former lido. However, these facilities are aging and becoming costly to maintain in their current state, which is why the District Council, which maintains the park, have joined forces with Newark Town Council, which owns the park, to reinvigorate the space.
Councillor Neil Ross, Leader of Newark Town Council said: “Sherwood Avenue park and skate area is part of Newark Town Council’s contribution to play and leisure amenities in Newark. Over the years its condition has deteriorated, so it is due for some renovation. It is a very well loved and well used area, by people of all ages, and it has particular appeal to those who enjoy skate activities.
“This year we have worked with Newark and Sherwood District Council to completely redesign the park and greatly improve the facilities. The new park will cater for adults and children of all ages with new play equipment, water features, natural habitats and enhanced features for skaters and young people. It will also create a green oasis close to the town centre. It will be somewhere to sit and enjoy the natural environment, with friends and family.”
In the public consultation some concerns were raised about anti-social behaviour in the current park and the District Council has taken these concerns into account.
Councillor Paul Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Relations at Newark and Sherwood District Council offers reassurance on this:
“We know anti-social behaviour in town centre locations is a concern of many of our residents and we have worked with our partners from the Police to ensure substantial safety and security measures are in place in order to deter ASB from the new park plans you see before you today.
“CCTV improvements are going to made and changes to entrances and exits have been developed with deterring offenders in mind.”
Residents will be updated on the plans moving forward via the District Council’s social media channels, resident newsletter and website and will be able to submit feedback to us on the proposed plans via an online survey in January.