Rugby's Shakespeare Gardens urban meadow could be protected from development with special designation

The borough council is about to consider a proposal that would see Rugby's Shakespeare Gardens’ urban meadow protected from development with a special designation.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 5:06 pm
Shakespeare Gardens urban meadow, photographed in summer 2019.

Rugby Borough Council’s cabinet will consider the move at its meeting to be held on November 4.

Should the proposal be successful, the open space would join twelve other parks and open spaces to be protected in perpetuity with Fields in Trust designation.

Fields in Trust protected status safeguards sites from future development and can help secure external funding for new facilities.

Residents’ memories of the site show that the open space on Shakespeare Gardens was originally meadowland and included part of the Sow Brook, before the housing estate was built and the brook was culverted.

Since the 1960s the site was open grassland with little biodiversity or landscape value - but work to restore the meadow started earlier this year as part of the council’s Urban Meadows programme.

And now the site could be protected forever as a public open space, accessible by residents and the wider community.

Cllr Howard Roberts, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for the environment and public realm, said: “Giving an open space Fields in Trust status in perpetuity reassures residents that their local site will be protected and available to them forever.

“Designating Shakespeare Gardens will give it the same protected status as Caldecott Park, Whitehall Rec and Centenary Park in Newbold, along with smaller sites such as Jubilee Street Rec.

"I am confident that cabinet members will take this opportunity to signal their strong support for the Shakespeare Gardens open space by approving this proposal to give it this special protected status.”

More information on the urban meadows scheme can be found at www.rugby.gov.uk/urbanmeadows.