9th December 2020
The Land Trust will deliver a space that ‘creates huge benefits for the local community’ after taking over the long term management of Castle Hill Country Park.
The new Country Park, delivered on former farmland, provides fine views across South Wiltshire and is a great place to spot wildlife with Skylarks in spring a particular highlight.
Castle Hill has been under the interim management of the Land Trust since 2019 while a series of capital works to create the country park were carried out. The site has now transferred to the long term management of the charity with a £714,000 endowment to manage it in perpetuity.
Land Trust Chief Executive Euan Hall said:
“We are delighted to be managing Castle Hill Country Park and we are looking forward to putting a long term strategy in place that delivers huge benefits to the local community while allowing the abundance of wildlife and biodiversity to thrive.
“It’s always very exciting when a new green spaces transfers to our ownership and everyone at the Land Trust is looking forward to working hard to unlock the site’s amazing potential and deliver a flourishing green space.”
Castle Hill is a real haven for wildlife with bird spotting and wildlife watching popular with visitors and the park was transferred to Laverstock and Ford Parish Council by Barratt Homes in March 2019. Prior to its transfer the site had been redesigned from the original proposal for a formal green space to a rural Country Park with the designs influenced by the preferences of local residents following an online questionnaire.
90,000 tonnes of spoil from the Riverdown Park development were incorporated into the redesign through re-profiling 15 hectares of the site for habitat creation.
While the site today is a beautiful Country Park, Castle Hill is a space with a fascinating history and below the surface of this tranquil retreat there is evidence of bustling human activity spanning thousands of years. A number of excavations have been carried out over recent years, with a number of finds showing Iron Age and Bronze Age activity.
Castle Hill overlooks Old Sarum airfield, which was built during World War One and was one of the few airfields to remain open following the end of the War.
The Land Trust has appointed Wessex Grounds Services and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to manage the site in partnership with the Land Trust.
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