The town council is planning a more habitat friendly approach to the Town Field, on the banks of the River Wye.
The space, alongside the river, behind the rowing club is owned and managed by the town council and is enjoyed by walkers along the riverbank, and hosts the annual Rotary fireworks display and raft race, as well as Monmouth Rowing Club’s events, including the annual regatta.
At present, the town field is mown 14 times per year by Monmouthshire County Council, on behalf of the Town Council but the plan is to reduce the mowing on two sections of the field to promote species of plants and animals and help them become a wildflower meadow.
The town council wants to contribute towards a local improvement of biodiversity and support an environment for the many species of plants and animals found throughout the UK, some of which are under threat.
The plan would see bat boxes and bird boxes as well as a composting area, keeping the hard-standing area that was once the site of the former skate park.
It is hoped a riverbank habitat could be encouraged along the bank of the river while retaining all the tress that currently make the area a pleasant place for walkers and families to enjoy a place full of wildlife, flora and fauna.
Having declared a climate emergency in 2019 and with the support of Monmouth’s environment group, Action on Climate Emergency (ACE) a partner to the town council, councillors have produced an action plan to contribute to reducing global heating where they can.
Improving the management of the town field is part of that action plan.
The town council recognise that their actions alone will not resolve the world’s problems, but feel that an improvement to the local biodiversity will make a positive change.
Having identified a section that will see a reduction in mowing frequency, the remaining grassed area would continue to be mown as it is at present.
Additionally, there would be some small-scale tree planting, addition of bird and bat boxes and widening of the hedgerow behind the rowing club.
Full details are contained within the management plan, available from the Town Council office and website.
Having recognised the importance of the town field for dog walkers and for local families and visitors to enjoy, the council hope the proposed changes will not affect the use of the town field and will still allow the space to be used as a recreational space.
They will encourage the wildflower meadow is to be walked on and through so that users can continue to enjoy the space.
Due to the hardiness of wildflowers, they will repair and regrow.
In addition, events that take place already will still be able to happen.
The council recognise that these are important events for the local community and want to ensure that any changes will not prevent the raft race, bonfire, regatta and other rowing events from taking place.
Having discussed the proposals with representatives from Rotary Monmouth and Monmouth Rowing Club, all are agreed that the changes will not affect their current activities.
If you wish to comment on the proposals or make suggestions, there is a public meeting at the Shire Hall on 5 February 4:30-6pm about the proposed town field management plan.
If you can’t make the meeting, please complete the questionnaire on the town council website at www.monmouth.gov.uk under consultations and send it to [email protected]