The Hub, Performance and Activity Zone may be the areas where we are proposing actual buildings, but this redevelopment is an opportunity to link the entire site together and draw out its strengths to provide a 21st century open space for Chippenham and its surrounds.

Taking into account seasonal flooding, the recreation ground could have football pitches, rounders diamonds, covered areas with BBQs and the start of various activity trails which lead people out into the wider open park land beyond Avenue La Fleche. Once people venture beyond the road there could be a range of educational and activity stops, wildlife viewing hides, fishing pontoons and access points to the river.


Bespoke hides could offer covered observation points where wildlife can be spotted and recorded – including deer and local bird life. These discreet structures would be located in the wetland area and also be used as drawing/art stations allowing a variety of uses for them.

Kids Trail: Educational

At a national level, English Nature, the Environment Agency and the Wildlife Trusts are working to raise awareness of invasive plant species.

The profile of invasive plant species needs to be raised within the Avon catchment by undertaking a co-ordinated local publicity campaign and educational programme the trail could provide introductions and mitigation techniques for the species including; Japanese Knotweed / American Signal Crayfish / Chinese Mitten Crab / Floating Pennywort / Giant Hogweed.

Wetland & Woodland

The existing woodland and wetland area is already being improved with funding secured to plant over 6,000 trees.

This could be improved further with hides and trails master-planned within this planting, leaving a landscape legacy in the short and long term for future generations to enjoy.

Recreation: Sports, BBQ & Picnics

The existing open recreation space could be enhanced with better informal sports provision and recreational/picnic seating nearby.

River Access: Paddling/Fishing Pegs

Various river access points located along the Avon Valley Walk could allow activities such as canoeing/rafting & paddling along with timber fishing pegs utilising the charity’s fishing rights.

These access points would work with the river ecosystem to provide areas of slower moving water, habitat creation and shade to increase the bio-diversity of the river.

Bike Hire/Local Cycle Route

The Avon Valley Walk and cycle route takes you along the riverside to Pewsham for family visits, and then connects to the old canal route ending up in Reybridge. At only 37 minutes (5.1 miles) this is an achievable distance for family days out. Bike hire on site could encourage families to do this without having to get lots of bikes to site.

River Biodiversity

Sustainability and biodiversity are at the heart of what we are trying to achieve with the site development. Every aspect of the scheme will be considered from a range of angles including their impact on local flora and fauna, their embodied CO2, their maintenance and end of useful life plans.

Any work within the river corridor will be done in a way to ensure that we improve the overall appearance, remove litter and invasive species and improve the biodiversity. Within 5 years we’d love to be able to say we have all of the below living on the site.

Kingfisher • Frog • Damselfly • Mallard • Newt • Dormouse • Stoat • Canada Goose• Dragonfly • Otter• Swan• Heron• Water Vole• Polecat

The site already has wildflower and scrub land areas and with CBLC’s funding for over 6000 new trees on the open land beyond Avenue La Fleche, it is hoped that within 20 years this site can form a significant environmental asset for the town and the wider county.

photos sourced from