Green space to be developed – thanks to lottery grant

DANE BANK will soon be the site of an exciting new development that will open an area up for the first time in half a century.

The Dane Bank Green Space CIO Charity has won awards from the People’s Postcode Lottery and Big Lottery for £17,000 and £15,000 respectively.

It has now submitted an application to Tameside Council after successfully securing the lease for the 11,500 sq m site at Windsor Road Fields.

The development project will fence off the main area with wooden fencing and a five bar gate, construct a footpath of more than 200 metres around a pond, install a temporary car park and track for vehicular access and place a steel container on site so equipment can be stored.

Dane Bank Green Space group with their cheque

Also included in phase one of the development is to put in place eight aviaries for animals rescued by Tameside’s People 4 Wildlife.

Bob Rutt, project manager for Dane Bank Green Space, said: “The charity is working with four organisations to promote environmental awareness and protection and introduce new activities that collectively will improve the offer to the local community.

“Dane Bank Angling Club will have fishing rights to continue their operations, using two of the three ponds leased to the Charity.

“Tameside’s People 4 Wildlife group is planning to create a wildlife rescue and bird sanctuary alongside one of the ponds and organised visits will be available in the future.

“Kids Go Wild will also be establishing a forest school that will be open all year round.”

The scheme to transform the area, currently used as a horse grazing field and angling ponds, has been on the agenda for some time. This application is only phase one of their action plan.

Bob added: “Developed and promoted in 2019, we have a clear vision for green space improvement that has received widespread support from local residents, community groups and local politicians.

Plans for the space

“The DBGS group formed a registered charity in April 2019 and this status has helped to secure a site lease and grant funding.

“The Covid crisis has delayed delivery of our plans but we have worked hard and made steady progress.

“Last year we secured funding from the Big Lottery and People’s Postcode Lottery to deliver phase one of the improvements including site enclosure, vehicular access and a circulatory footpath providing safe access for visitors.

“The charity has recently secured a 25-year lease from Tameside Council for two sites on the Windsor Road Fields including three ponds.

The Aviary

“Members of the DBGS Community Group will be working with volunteers to plant native trees, shrubs and wild flowers encouraging new animal, bird and insect life.

“And for the first time in 50 years, they will begin to open up the site for visitors and public access.

“But this is only the start. phase two of the development will see the construction of an exciting new meeting lodge, improved car parking with further environmental and site improvements.

“Activities on site will focus on environmental awareness, nature and wildlife education, mental health and wellbeing.”

Tameside Council’s speakers’ panel (planning) committee will soon meet regarding Dane Bank Green Space’s application. However a decision is expected early this spring.

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