WILDFLOWER spaces and woodland are to be created as part of plans to improve the area around Shaftesbury Lake.
Nythe, Eldene and Liden Parish Council wants to create a new town garden area, and a wildflower and woodland zone at either end of the lake between Park South and Eldene.
The work, due to start a week on Friday, will be done with the help of The Friends of Shaftesbury Lake, a voluntary group which already maintains the area.
Council chairman Kevin Parry said: “We’re really lucky to have this lake here and more people seem to be enjoying it these days.
“We want to invest in something that we know families and people are enjoying. It’s important to preserve our natural habitats and off the back of that, make the area somewhere people can enjoy themselves.”
The council agreed for the next grass cut in Eldene to be skipped, and contractors sent to the lake where three large flower beds will be dug. A £750 budget has been agreed for the plants to fill them.
Volunteer Pam Jones, who set up The Friends of Shaftesbury Park with Gail Collins, said: “We just couldn’t believe it when we heard. It’s really exciting news – it’s ten times more than we thought we’d ever get.”
Gail added: “We thought Kevin was just going to say they could give us one bed. So we were amazed and excited when we were told there could be three.”
Plans include planting a mixture of shrubs and bushes including roses, as well as summer and winter bulbs.
“So there should always be something there,” said Pam. “We are going to have the best of both worlds – a more formal garden at one end and then a wildflower area down the other.
“And hopefully something for everybody, which is the most important thing I think.”
The pair established the volunteer group in response to seeing the lake become overgrown with dwindling visitor numbers three years ago.
Since then they have taken part in a community action day to clear the area and planted and maintained small flower beds to try and turn the lake into a community asset once more.
Pam, who grew up in the area said: “My mum used to take us kids down to the lake when we were little and my grandparents, and then our kids would visit.
“The lake has just always been an incredibly special place and both Gail and I were heartbroken when we saw how neglected and uncared for it had become. But then we also agreed that we could start making it better.
“Here we are three years later, finally getting our dream coming true.”
Gail added: “We’re really excited. Three years ago you couldn’t see the lake because there were so many weeds. Now we’re going to have these lovely areas. It’s fantastic.”
Further plans include the installation of a new bench as well as work to improve the notice board.
Mr Parry added: “Hopefully this will be an involving project where more can be added over time and it will become a community area everyone can appreciate.”