Stoke-on-Trent city council backs Sunrise Project

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Sixteen urban sites in North Staffordshire are to benefit from a share of £3.6 millions of funding to create new wildlife habits, improve water quality and reduce flooding in 2020.

The Sunrise (Stoke and Urban Newcastle Rediscovering Its Secret Environments) Project, is led by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and delivered in the main by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

It will see work take place across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme over the next two years, focusing on watercourses and Urban green Spaces.

And £2.1 million is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The scheme is a partnership between Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Groundwork West Midlands, Newcastle Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and Wild Trout Trust.

The project aims to create better habitats for Wildlife both within the River Trent watercourse itself along the adjoining river bank. It will also improve sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS), control invasive species and improve existing woodland and grassland.

Sites involved in the SUNRISE programme include:

  • Lyme Brook: Silverdale Country Park, Lyme Brook, Pool Dam Marsh, land adjacent to the M6 in Clayton and Thistleberry Parkway.
  • Fowlea Brook: Etruria Valley, Bradwell Wood.
  • River Trent: Victoria Ground, River Trent corridor at Staffordshire University, Bucknall Park, Trent Mill (section of the River Trent parallel to Leek Road between Victoria Road and Bucknall Road), Cromer Road, green space in Milton alongside the Caldon Danal
  • Causeley Brook, Ford Green Brook. A location for the SUDS work is yet to be decided.

Cllr Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure at the city council, said: “Stoke-on-Trent is one of the greenest cities in the country, with some fantastic green and open spaces on our doorsteps, and that is something we are rightly very proud of.

“This work will improve the city’s biodiversity at various sites, and also help to create attractive and welcoming spaces within the city for residents to enjoy.”

Julian Woolford, chief executive of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “This is a really exciting project for wildlife in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire and I’m looking forward to seeing the projects getting off the ground.

“We’re thankful to the ERDF for the funding we have received following a successful application process, and to all of the partners who have got on board.”

Richard Schneider, charity operations manager for Groundwork West Midlands, said: “Groundwork West Midlands are proud to be involved in the SUNRISE project, which offers a unique opportunity for habitat restoration and environmental enhancements across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

“The funding will allow us to increase valuable wetland habitats on Silverdale Country park in Newcastle and enhance a number of public open spaces across Stoke via the creation of Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDS) feature.”

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