Boardwalk wetlands ‘mystery’ solved

THE Correspondent has helped solve the ‘mystery’ of a striking new walkway erected to give locals improved access to a green oasis in Shaw town centre.

The wooden structure only recently appeared on land off Refuge Street and close to the site of the former Cape Mill.

That prompted enquiries from a resident to Shaw and Crompton Community Forum as to what the boardwalk – accessed off Mill Pond Close – was for and who had built it.

Local Oldham Council councillors and officers were equally in the dark over the appearance of the structure several hundred metres in length.

Now a spot of detective work can reveal the job has been carried out by Groundwork Trust working in conjunction with Oldham Council Environmental Services.

The money was made available from a section 106 agreement* made between OMBC and builders of the Cape Gardens, Twingates Close, Read Close housing development.

It was agreed to make improvements to the site by delegated decision in 2014.

Works have been completed over the last five years in two phases.

A spokesperson for OMBC said: “We are pleased to complete the boardwalk and add further value to the recreation space that has become well-used since the completion of the first phase.

“By giving people access over the wetland area they can get a closer look at the wildlife supported by the marshy grassland in the River Beal corridor.”

The first phase saw improvements made to make the recreation space useable and included extensive land drainage, ball-stop fencing erected and improvements to footpaths and access.

The design of the boardwalk, which is wheelchair accessible, element was revised to bring it into budget.

It spans wetlands, home to a variety of flora, fauna and wildlife, which also border onto a site of Special Scientific Interest

Already, it has attracted plenty of attention including from one person who has placed a black bin liner to collect litter.

*A Section 106 is a legal agreement between an applicant seeking planning permission and the local planning authority, which is used to mitigate the impact of your new home on the local community and infrastructure.

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