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£60,000 grant will help improve Blackbird Leys nature park
Buy this photo » Blackbird Leys Parish Council chairman Gordon Roper and city councillor Scott Seamons at Spindleberry Park
IT IS said the grass isn’t always greener.
But residents on Oxford’s largest estate could soon have a beauty spot to rival any in the city thanks to a £60,000 cash boost.
Spindleberry Nature Park, off Pegasus Road, in Blackbird Leys, is to get a new dipping pond, furniture and extra planting.
What was once a former dumping ground for stolen cars and discarded drug needles has been transformed in recent years into the pride of the Leys.
Landfill tax grants body Wren (Waste Recycling Environmental) awarded the money following a “hugely impressive” bid by Blackbird Leys Parish Council, charity Groundworks and Oxford City Council.
The works form part of a multi-million-pound plan to transform the estate.
Residents have been promised better parking and access, upgraded housing, transport and better leisure facilities.
Improvements have also been carried out to Blackbird Leys Park, which was recently awarded Green Flag status.
As part of the plan, proposals for an outdoor fitness trail linking Blackbird Leys Park, Gillians Park and Spindleberry Park have also been drawn up.
Parish council chairman Gordon Roper said: “Naturally we’re delighted, and have pushed hard for as much money as we can get.
“The park will become a huge asset for children from local schools and local families to see nature at its best.”
City councillor Scott Seamons said it was more proof that Blackbird Leys was visibly changing for the better.
Mr Seamons said: “It will make Spindleberry safer and friendlier, and mean more people can use it.
“The most important part was involving the wider community, so from local groups like CDI, the Clockhouse, and Pathways, everyone helped, and that made the bid so much stronger.”
Work is planned to start as soon as possible and much will be completed within a year. The intention is to involve the community and ‘green partners’ in a long-term rolling programme of events and improvements, providing a lasting legacy.
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