Stretching across 49 hectares between Bishop’s Tachbrook, Whitnash, Leamington Spa and Warwick, Tachbrook Country Park will become one of the largest green spaces in the district.
The new country park is located in an area which is identified in the Local Plan as needing additional open space to serve the growing communities. Once complete, it will connect the housing developments to the new primary and secondary schools at Oakley Grove, Community Stadium and other public amenities.
The site is located on the northern valley sides of the Tachbrook and sits within a bowl like landscape which is fairly steeply sloping in parts. Previously, the site has functioned as arable fields, but will shortly be released for creation of country park as part of S106 agreements relating to the emerging urban extension of Leamington Spa, on land to the north.
The southern section of the site sits in the valley floor and is characterised by wet meadow and willows along the banks of the Tachbrook. There is a fairly sheltered and secluded character which contrasts with the more open and exposed higher valley sides of the northern section where there is limited tree cover and expansive views across unmanaged grassland.
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Photo of the existing site
Photo of the existing site north field
Warwick Castle and St Mary's in the distance
Photo of the existing north western part of the site
Photo of the existing site
Planning application submission - March 2022
What will be included in the Country Park?
The country park needs to provide 1.4 hectare of play space. We reviewed existing and proposed play areas in the surrounding area and noted that there is a good amount of traditional play equipment for younger children.
The country park provides an opportunity for something a bit different, that is in keeping with the country park use.
Habitats for wildlife
When planning permission was granted for housing to the south of Harbury Lane, to compensate for the loss of wildlife habitat, it was agreed that the country park should be designed to be beneficial to a range of different wildlife.
This could include providing additional areas of woodland, meadow grassland, orchards, areas of wetland and other beneficial habitats for native species.
There is a requirement to include 2.75 hectares of food growing space within the country park. Options include traditional allotments, community food growing area community orchards.
Currently, there is no official public access to any part of the country park. To allow for safe access for people of all ages and abilities, a network of paths will be implemented. This will tie into the surrounding network of existing footpaths and cycle paths. Different types of path will be suitable for different parts of the country park.
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Pond and wet meadow
Collective Gardens - food growing
Community food growing
Boardwalk and planting
Wet meadow pathway
Wildflower natural path
The story so far
In November 2019 the public were invited to submit their ideas and feedback on their current use of local parks and the features they would like to see in the new open space. The responses received were used to shape a concept plan for the country park, in collaboration with Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish Council.
In March 2020 we published the concept plan and in summer 2020 conducted public consultation, to give local people and community groups the opportunity to provide further feedback on the plans.
View the full consultation report:
Overwhelmingly 98% of respondents stated that a Country Park should be created for the community. A summary of what the public and stakeholders considered to be the most important elements for the new public space are listed below;
- Encouragement of wildlife and biodiversity
- Accessibility for walking
- Provision for safe cycling
- Inclusion of natural play areas
- Provision of a community hub / café
- Development of community food growing areas
Those who took part in the survey also voted in favour of naming the park ‘Tachbrook Country Park’ rather than ‘Tach Brook’ (associated with the neighbouring brook or stream).
Since the indicative master plan was approved in February, we have been working up the final detailed design for the country park, which has now been submitted for consideration by the council's planning committee. Landscape architects have taken considerable care to balance a wide range of requirements, refining the previously proposed master plan at a detailed level to reflect as much of the consultation responses as possible. This work has continued to involve Bishop’s Tachbrook Parish Council and has taken into account the results from technical reports, as well as input from ecologists, archaeologists and other professionals.