Nene Park Trust bosses urge TV naturalist Chris Packham to see its wider vision

Bosses behind plans for a Climbing Wall on Peterborough parkland have dismissed the concerns of TV naturalist Chris Packham.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 1:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 2:06 pm
TV naturalist Chris Packham.

Nene Park Trust has urged the prominent wildlife campaigner and presenter of BBC's Winterwatch, who has called for the proposed Climbing Wall to be resited, to consider the wider vision for Nene Park.

The trust, which hopes to build a 34.25 metres high Climbing Wall as part of an activity centre on the banks of Gunwade Lake, in Ferry Meadows, says the plan is for a two acre site in an area of parkland stretching across 1,725 acres.

Mr Packham, who has lodged his protest on Peterborough City Council's planning portal, states: "Ferry Meadows needs cherishing as a natural place for our children to learn to appreciate nature not an urban hub/ nature theme park destroying all it originally set to achieve.

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"Please reconsider the setting for this climbing wall and leave the habitat the way it is for wildlife and humans alike to enjoy."

A statement released by the trust says the proposed £8 million Nene Park Activity Centre, which is expected to generate £2 million a year for the city's economy and create about 31 jobs, is part of a much wider vision for Nene Park and which has been set out in its Masterplan.

The trust states: "We have been aware of celebrity naturalist, Chris Packham’s interest in our proposals for a new activity centre at Nene Park for some time.

"We take all responses on board and have considered his comments closely.

"We appreciate the great love many have for Nene Park and Ferry Meadows, particularly the nature that finds a home here and understand it is this passion that has spurred Chris to


"From the outset of this project we have considered the environment and setting of the proposals, consulting with landscape designers, ecologists and tree specialists in

surveying the current environment and designing our proposals.

"These assessments have considered a wide area and this project does not stand alone but is part of a wider vision for Nene Park set out in the Nene Park Masterplan.

"The Park is an area for people to enjoy alongside being a haven for wildlife.

"This is perfectly exhibited by our wetland meadows restoration project completed last year, in which 70 acres of meadows have been improved for wildlife, whilst also creating opportunities for the public to get closer to nature and enjoy the meadows with improved walking routes.

"The proposed activity centre and car park will be based on just two acres of Nene Park, which covers a total of 1725 acres of green space in Peterborough."