We’re helping transform the River Sherbourne in Coventry for wildlife and the community
We are supporting a scheme to help transform the River Sherbourne which runs through Spon End in Coventry.
The scheme, which is being led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, will restore and celebrate the natural, built and cultural heritage of river. The river starts near Corley Moor before disappearing beneath the city in a large pipe underground.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund have awarded £253,600 to the Wildlife Trust and we have donated an extra £5,000 for the project.
Our Director of Regeneration Services Kevin Roach said: “The funding will help develop and produce plans over the next 18 months that will propose improvements to the River Sherbourne. It will aim to reconnect the people of Coventry with the city’s river and restore the river for wildlife.
“Following the production of the plans, a further bid will be made to the National Lottery Heritage fund for a grant of around £1.8million to deliver a further four-year scheme of projects focused on the river in Coventry.
“We have become involved in this project because a critical element of the Spon End regeneration is to enhance the environment and green space for residents, the river is a hidden jewel that runs through the Spon End estate and as such will be a focal point to achieving this key objective”
A key element of the scheme is to raise awareness of the existing natural and built heritage already present on the river.
These are two Grade 2 listed bridges – one scheduled monument (a single span bridge), and locally listed sluice gates that span the river. The ruins of an old chapel sit adjacent to it in Spon End.
These, and other features go largely un-noticed to people who pass by during their busy lives. The scheme will aim to safeguard, restore and interpret these features to help the people of Coventry be proud of their river.
The scheme will also develop an extensive volunteer and events programme designed to enable local people to develop a sense of ownership for their river. Working with community groups and schools, people from across Coventry and further afield will benefit from a revitalised River Sherbourne.
Kevin added: “The section of the River Sherbourne that runs through Spon End is currently overgrown and not accessible for residents to enjoy. The project aims to bring this area of Spon End back to life for residents, and its wildlife, to enjoy and in turn improve their quality of life and wellbeing.”
Director of Living Landscapes at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust Ian Jelley said: “We’re are absolutely thrilled with the news the National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting this scheme. We have been working in partnership with local people for over five years developing ideas and this investment enables us to make a real impact on the ground. 2020 is Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s 50th anniversary, and with next year being City of Culture, this is excellent timing. We are really excited at what this scheme could deliver for people and wildlife in Coventry.”