Plan For Improving Mere Court
Mere Court Open Space
During the construction of the Parish Plan residents were consulted on many aspects of life in Chelford and the open space known as Mere Court was identified as part of the community environment that would benefit from enhancement and thus encourage more residents to enjoy its amenities. More recently, a number of residents requested at the Parish Council AGM 2014, that the Parish Plan Team consider, as a matter of urgency, what specific actions could be employed now, to improve the Mere Court area.
Residents pointed to the fact that the pond is in poor condition with overgrown trees reducing the light, dead branches resting in the water and a large coverage of moss. The surrounding undergrowth is overgrown and in places dead and access to some of the pathways is restricted. Fencing and platforms are in sound condition but need significant cleaning and re-painting. Seating is in need of replacement and signage needs renewing. The play area equipment is old and dirty and the safety base is moss covered and deteriorating.
In response and in partnership with Officers from Cheshire East, our Ward Councillor from Cheshire East, George Walton, a residents representatives group and the Chelford Parish Plan Team (CPPT) we have produced a development plan for Mere Court. The plan reflects a positive response to local community needs and is aimed at protecting and improving a green space in Chelford for the enjoyment of our residents and visitors.
In order to deliver the plan the Parish Plan Team identified a number of key phases. Phase 1 will focus on remedial work to include removing dead trees, thinning/pruning trees and undergrowth, raising tree crowns and clearing the pond. We intend to plant wildlife friendly shrubs and install bird boxes, install new seating in the area and pupils of Chelford School will design new signage for the pond area. In phase 2 we are aiming to refurbish fences and platforms, install a new safety base in the play area and 5 pieces of new and improved equipment.
After submitting a bid, the Parish Plan Team has received a grant of £3000 from Cheshire East, but the grant fell short of our bid by £2000 to allow us to complete the work on the pond and surrounding area. We will thus need to find alternative funding sources. However, we are hoping that Cheshire East will refurbish the play area surface and equipment at no cost to the parish. At least with the £3000 grant, work can begin on the pond area in the near future.
We hope that the proposed actions will encourage residents to use the area more regularly for taking exercise and enjoy the natural habitat of wildlife, plants and trees and that younger families will visit and enjoy a more modern and friendly play area. Older age groups will have improved accessibility to the area for walking and viewing the pond area and those who require wheelchair access will be able to negotiate the pathways more easily.
Here are some 'before' pictures. We'll post more pictures as the work begins and the improvements advance. As always, click on the picture for a larger view