Congleton Town Council’s Streetscape Services team provides the grounds maintenance for the parks and many of the green spaces in Congleton under contract to Cheshire East.
The current climate emergency presents the Council and the community with challenges that we cannot ignore. Our parks and open spaces are essential to helping us address the impact of global warming and take actions to take to tackle climate change head-on.
Congleton Town Council is committed to restoring lost habitats and not using unnecessary chemicals that are detrimental to the health of its residents and the wider environment.
Congleton Town Council Biodiversity Plan
In order to increase biodiversity still further, the Council has put together a Biodiversity Plan which involves 30 key sites around the town which will each have their own strategy to increase wildlife and diversity of flora. You can learn more about this on the Biodiversity Page.
What Land does Congleton Town Council Maintain?
There is a map showing the ownership and maintenance of the various areas of land in Congleton.
You can enlarge and download the Congleton Ownership and Maintenance Map here.
Cheshire East and the Town Council need to make sure that our parks and open spaces are managed and maintained sustainably, and the Town Council intends to lead by example to influence positive change.
The people of Congleton value our parks and open spaces and thousands of people use them. We must balance the requirement for open play areas and neat gardens with the urgent need to promote biodiversity and improve the natural environment.
To achieve this, we will be leaving some areas of the parks and open spaces unmown. This is a simple way to provide a more diverse landscape for wildlife such as birds, small mammals, and pollinating insects.
Low Mow Town
Congleton Town Council is adopting a ‘Low-Mow’ town approach to grass cutting and is encouraging other organisations to do the same. The Low Mow approach will be an all year round campaign which will see more swathes of land left completely unmown during the growing season to enable nature to thrive, whilst other areas will be cut less frequently.
The Low Mow approach has evolved from practical experience. The council believes it will be better for wildlife, better for the equipment and will lead to less complaints. The approach will see more areas left wild until the end of the season, whilst regularly used areas are kept trimmed. Mowing schedules will vary from area to area, with all areas being left at the beginning of May. Where grass is cut less often, the town council’s Streetscape service will still visit to maintain the area. At the end of the growing season all areas will be cut to prepare for the next season.
Wildflower Strips on the Roadside
Wildflower strips are areas of grass that are purposely not cut and where wildflowers are allowed to self-seed and grow. Wildflower strips are planned for the following areas in Congleton:
- Mountbatten Way from Soapy Joes to MAC Tool Hire
- Clayton Bypass
- Newcastle Rd from Padbury Lane junction heading into town
- Sandbach Road Service Road
- Holmes Chapel Road Service Road
CTC sources bedding plants locally to reduce our carbon footprint, and in many areas, such as roundabouts and parks, we are planting perennials to reduce replanting and associated waste.
Meadow Strips in Open Green Spaces
Congleton Town Council is working with Cheshire East Council on locations for large areas of open space where meadow strips can be formed. These are areas where some of the grass will be cut on a specific site but then there will be strips left for wildlife. As you can see from the image below there will still be grass which is mown fortnightly to enable children to play and families to enjoy picnics. There are also swafts of grass strips left thick and long for local wildlife and insect habitats.
Trees for Congleton
The Council is provides practical support for the Congleton Tree Group, a volunteer group that aims to plant 30,000 new trees (one for each resident) in and around Congleton by 2025.
The Town Council will continue working with Cheshire East and Congleton Tree Group on sites for mini woodlands. In these woodlands the grass will be left for wildlife. You can learn more about these areas on the Trees for Congleton website.
Peat Free Compost
The Town Council has committed to using Peat Free Compost for the vast majority of its work. This includes:
- 250 town centre hanging baskets– lined with moss and then filled with plants.
- 30 solid baskets- filled with Peat Free compost, then filled with plants.
- 30 kids tubs- equipment supplied by CTC for the school children to plant up the town centre pots.
- 30 large planters & 180 troughs– this is a mix of normal compost which is at the base of the planters from previous years and topped up with peat free compost.
Roundabouts and park beds– used to be totally peat beds, since Congleton Town Council has managed the Streetscape Service (2014) the beds have been topped up with peat- free compost. They may not be totally peat-free yet as it would be too costly to replace all the beds, but it is slowly being replaced.
Weed Spraying in Congleton
Cheshire East Highways does the majority of weed spraying across Congleton. This is to prevent the proliferation of harmful weeds causing significant deterioration of roads and pavements.
Congleton Town Council will not use glyphosate-based weed killer in any area under our control.
- Cheshire East Highways: Road Verges, Kerb Line Paths adjacent to any roads
- Cheshire East Rangers: Astbury Mere Country Park, Biddulph Valley Way, Dane in Shaw Meadow
- Congleton Town Council: Congleton Park, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Ornamental Gardens and Roundabouts, – which is now handweed or strimmed
Continuing to Improve
CTC regularly discusses and identifies areas of open space where we can carry out less mowing and leave areas of grass to grow which would provide more habitats for wildlife and bees. We will work collectively with representatives from appropriate organisations to look at alternative methods as standards and techniques evolve.
You can see more information about Cheshire East’s strategy on the Cheshire East Council Parks and Gardens page.
Congleton Town Council and Congleton in Bloom have won many awards for the standards set across the town including:
- Greening up a grey and disused space with local people
- Creating and caring for public Community Gardens
- Inspiring people from across the community to enjoy the benefits of gardening
- Helping to create school gardens and school food-growing initiatives
- Sowing wildflower meadows, wildlife habitats and maintaining conservation areas
In 1998 a small group of dedicated volunteers formed Congleton In Bloom. They were determined to do something to brighten up Congleton. The group has evolved and grown and achieved many successes:
- Best Large Town North West in Bloom: 2000, 2005, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021
- North West in Bloom GOLD: 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
- Finalists in Britain in Bloom: 2001, 2007, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021, 2022
- Britain in Bloom Silver: 2007,
- Britain in Bloom GOLD: 2014, 2016 & 2018. 2019, 2021
- Six-time winners of the Cheshire Civic Pride Awards
- Fifteen Green Flag sites for the town- Congleton Park awarded 13th Green Flag
- Congleton Park Awarded the Cheshire Playing Fields Les George Parks Award 2017
- Cheshire Pride, Community Champion 2015- Patti Pinto
- Cheshire Community Pride, Best Kept Village- Overall Winner 2018
To learn more please visit the Congleton In Bloom Working Group.
Last updated: 16th November 2022