A nature-first approach to urban planning: Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust proposes a green future for Nottingham’s Broadmarsh area.

Our friends at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have created a new model for regenerating inner city areas, with a proposal of urban rewilding for Nottingham’s Broadmarsh area.

Broadmarsh was partway through a £86m redevelopment by Intu as a leisure and retail centre before the business went into administration this summer. The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is now calling on residents and businesses to support a “once-in-a- generation opportunity” to transform Nottingham from grey to green, signaling a cleaner and healthier future for the city.

The Trust worked with Influence Landscape Architects to take a nature-first approach to urban planning. Their designs would see around six acres of shabby and derelict concrete buildings replaced with green space, including pocket woodlands, wetlands, and a wildflower meadow.

The proposal draws inspiration from nineteenth-century maps which indicate the land was once a fertile garden covered in fruit trees. It focuses on rewilding and restoring habitats to attract butterflies, dragonflies, and a range of birds. The proposal also includes a “Home Grown and Wellbeing Zone” and an “Education Zone”, providing opportunities for communities and visitors to socialise, learn, connect with nature, and nourish their wellbeing.

“We feel this could be a real opportunity for the city to stand out from the crowd as cities across the UK look to recover their economies and find a new direction for urban centres.” – Erin McDaid, head of communications and marketing at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.

We believe our community has a rare opportunity to hit pause during a time of extreme change and upheaval, when our needs and priorities are changing drastically. The city’s decision-makers have an opportunity to deliver what Nottingham’s residents, businesses and visitors will need and crave in a post CV-19 world. Furthermore, they have an opportunity to take a thrilling and game-changing leap towards becoming the first carbon neutral city.

Over the coming months and years, we will be re-building our businesses and economy, but we will also be re-building different versions of ourselves. Many of us will be approaching our lives with different interests, different priorities, and with a new appreciation for fresh air, fun, and human connection. The formula we once worked to will not be enough for us anymore. Or, more aptly, it will be too much.

Such a bold green vision could set the city on a course to a greener economic recovery, boost tourism and stimulating inward investment. As we work to secure 30% of the UK’s land for nature by 2030 this wild green ambition should be seen as a catalyst for further investment in existing greenspaces; to bringing people together and to putting the city’s nature into recovery at a time when access to natural greenspace has never been more valued or needed. – Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

As a green-accredited Nottingham business with three Castle Rock pubs* on the doorstep of the Broadmarsh area, and as long-standing friends and supporters of the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, we sincerely hope their proposal is given serious and open-minded consideration.

To support the Trust’s proposal, please head to their website.

*Three Castle Rock venues are on the southern edge of the Broadmarsh area: Barley Twist on Carrington Street, Canalhouse on Canal Street, and tenanted pub The Newshouse on Canal Street. Our brewery, head offices and brewery tap, the Vat and Fiddle, are just a couple of minutes away.



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