Washlands Enhancement Project Delivery

East Staffordshire Borough Council is pleased to confirm that the Washlands Enhancement Project will be commencing later this month and will take around 5/6 months to complete.

Ground Control Limited who were successful in their tender will deliver the project. The Council will try to minimise any disruption on residents, but there will be limited access to the Washlands adjacent Meadowside Drive on occasions.

The Washlands is an extensive piece of natural land that follows the river through to the heart of Burton upon Trent. The enhancement project will achieve a better balance of the regular flooding of the area with the need for public access and recreation, whilst promoting nature conservation and a more environmentally sustainable approach to green space management.

Visitors will experience a welcoming place, which is healthy, safe and secure. It will be well maintained and clean, and will offer opportunities for family and friends to enjoy recreational time together. Wildlife and nature will thrive here, and there will be increased opportunities for local community involvement.

Funding for the project is originally from a joint Local Enterprise Partnership bid made by ESBC for the enhancement project and the Environment Agency for their Flood Defence Scheme along with additional capital resources from East Staffordshire Borough Council.

The works will include:

  • Upgraded Play Area - A top quality, flagship play area including ‘natural play’ principles and using timber equipment in keeping with Burton upon Trent’s status as the capital of the National Forest. 
  • New Wetland Area - Wetland creation throughout the Washlands, our vision is for a wildlife haven, maintaining existing good quality habitats and linking them to build a stronger habitat network for wildlife. In this central Washlands area, we can demonstrate a range of habitats, and provide opportunities for the public to appreciate them, whilst managing how water flows through the site by changing levels and providing boardwalks to provide increased public access. Wildflowers, swales and ponds, marginal and aquatic planting, will all provide valuable wetland habitat.

Works will be taking place between May and November with the following key impacts:

  • Site set up takes place 20th May – 29th May 2024.
  • Meadowside Car Park – a small reduction of spaces for a 4-8 week period at the start of the project along with a small welfare compound
  • Meadowside Drive partially closed to vehicles for 5 months but there will be some kind of access for pedestrians retained. Access to Meadowside Car Park will remain throughout.
  • Library car parking will be reduced to enable access from the site compound (located at the High Street project site) onto the Washlands. This coincides with the renovation works taking place at the Library.
  • Clearance works of trees will commence from 30th May under the supervision of an ecologist.
  • Footpath closures/diversions are in place for the pathways along the Washlands.
  • Archaeologist will be on site for supervision and testing throughout the project.
  • Progress updates:
    • ESBC Website – the storymap of the Washlands Enhancement Project with the updated project details currently being worked on and will be available shortly.
    • An updated programme of works will be available once finalised but will have to be continually worked and updated dependent on conditions.  
    • Information about the project will also be available in the Regeneration Hub, located at the National Brewery Archives on Station Street, Burton.

Cllr Rob Hawkins, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, said: “The commencement of this project is an exciting moment as we start to see the central area of the Washlands transformed over the coming months into a place of learning, play and most importantly, biodiversity.”

“As with any project, there will be some disruption, which we will always try to minimise as we have done here by coinciding the project with the renovation works at the library. We are grateful for everyone’s patience in the meantime and hope you enjoy the area once the project has completed.” 

There will be further updates once the works has commenced.