New vision to rewild Nottingham city centre
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has shared a bold vision to rewild the heart of Nottingham and 'green up' the historic city centre following the decision to demolish the much-derided Broadmarsh shopping centre.
The Trust has worked with landscape architects to reimagine the imposing grey urban jungle and replace the concrete with 100% natural greenspace – the start of a big idea to reconnect the city to Sherwood Forest and invoke the spirit of Robin Hood – bringing wildlife to nature-poor city dwellers and the millions of visitors it attracts every year.
A depiction of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's vision for Broadmarsh (Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust).
Paul Wilkinson, CEO of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, said: "Transforming the Broadmarsh into a natural greenspace would bring people together and start putting the city's nature into recovery at a time when natural greenspace has never been more valued or needed. It could also act as a springboard to securing investment in green growth and green infrastructure and deliver the long term aspiration of reconnecting our city to the ancient Sherwood Forest landscape and we're calling on people to back our vision.”
Since the site was handed back to the council in the summer, there has been much talk locally over the site's future. A change.org petition calling for the area to be transformed into public greenspace secured almost 11,000 signatures and other polls have also supported calls for a new greenspace. As Nottingham seeks to recover from the human and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust believes that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a healthy, wildlife-rich natural world, and that we all depend on contact with nature for our wellbeing.
Wilkinson, added: "By putting people and nature at the heart of plans for the Broadmarsh site, Nottingham City Council could grasp a once in a generation opportunity to carve out a green future for the city centre. As well as signalling the city's commitment to helping secure 30% of land across the UK for nature by 2030, this new vision would support Nottingham’s ambition to be the UK's first carbon neutral city, boost tourism and ensure that Nottingham stands out from the crowd as city’s across the UK compete for investment to rebuild their economies after the impact of Covid-19."
Following the announcement of the Government's new 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution backed by a package of at least £12bn of funding for green growth, the Wildlife Trust believes that the vision for the Broadmarsh should be seen as one of a range of opportunities for Nottingham to secure its fair share of funds earmarked for green recovery and green growth.