Within Streetscape and Congleton In Bloom
In September 2019 Congleton Town Council declared a Climate Change Emergency. Prior to this the Town Council had included many green policies and working practices within Congleton Town Hall, Streetscape and general procedures.
This page explores some of the future plans for the further greening of the Congleton Environment through the Town Council’s Streetscape Service and also the successful Congleton in Bloom group which works closely with the Town Council.
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
During COVID-19 establishing these wildflower strips was not considered an essential service and the plan is now to have the strips planted ready for 2021. The Project will be led by Congleton In Bloom.
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, alongside swafts of grass strips left thick and long for local wildlife and insects to habitat.
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.
- 24 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 and peat compost we use peat compost as it has the benefit of holding moisture well and releasing nutrients slowly and over a long period of time, which is ideal for planters and containers.
- 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
The majority of weed spraying across Congleton is undertaken by Cheshire East Highways. This is considered necessary as otherwise we would have harmful weeds and significantly deteriorating roads and pavements.
Purpose of weed spraying, the main points being:
- Weeds if left can damage road and pathway surfaces
- Weeds left on road junctions and crossing points could cause safety concerns as sight lines could be impacted
- One of our main complaints throughout the summer leading into Autumn is the poor condition of play area fence lines, roads, kerb lines and pathways due to the number of weeds
- 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,
It was decided that CTC would meet, discuss and identify areas of open space where we could carry out less mowing and leave swafts 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 of treating.
Congleton Town Council are committed to restoring lost habitats, not using unnecessary chemicals that are detrimental to the health of its residents and the wider environment.
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.
Congleton Tree Group has already planted many trees across Congleton, and there are plans to plant even more in Autumn.
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
Congleton In Bloom was formed by a small group of dedicated volunteers in 1998. 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
- North West in Bloom GOLD: 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
- Finalists in Britain in Bloom: 2001, 2007, 2014, 2016, 2018 and will be in 2021 (postponed from 2020)
- Britain in Bloom Silver: 2007,
- Britain in Bloom GOLD: 2014, 2016 & 2018
- Sixt-time winners of the Cheshire Civic Pride Awards
- Fifteen Green Flag sites for the town- Congleton Park awarded 12th 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
Congleton in Bloom 2019-20 Aims and Objectives
- To make Congleton an attractive place to live, work, shop and visit
- To provide opportunities for the community to become involved either individually or in groups
- To make Congleton a clean, green town through anti-litter campaigns, organising litter picks, removing graffiti, fly posting, improving local grot spots and recycling campaigns
- To support the retail sector and promote tourism by providing attractive floral displays and green spaces
- To raise standards and promote the town by entering competitions such as North West in Bloom and the Cheshire Civic Pride Awards
- To encourage Eco Schools and gain green flag awards, encourage bio-diversity, energy conservation and the growing of local food
- To involve young people in taking an active role in Congleton in Bloom