Flood-hit Kempsey beauty spot restored by school children

Malvern Gazette: BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE: Villagers gather with children to celebrate the renewed beauty of the Rocky, once a neglected hideout for hooligans. BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE: Villagers gather with children to celebrate the renewed beauty of the Rocky, once a neglected hideout for hooligans.

A NEGLECTED part of a village once bedevilled by floods and anti-social behaviour should look blooming marvellous again this spring – thanks to a touch of tender loving care from school children.

The Rocky in Kempsey is now better protected from flooding from the Hatfield Brook thanks to the flood defences, allowing Kempsey Parish Council to focus on improving the area, with a £25,000 revamp.

But it was green-fingered school children from Kempsey Primary School who provided the finishing touches.

Michael Stevens, chairman of the parish council’s environment committee and vice-chairman of the council, joined 27 pupils from Oak class to rejuvenate this once unloved area.

The majority of the cash – 80 per cent – came from EU funding and the rest was provided by the parish council.

Mr Stevens said: “It looks like a completely different area when you walk through now.”

The council had to put a presentation together to secure the funding to restore the area, which was left submerged by last November’s devastating floods.

Improvements to the defences have left villagers hoping the Rocky now enjoys more permanent protection.

The children planted spring bulbs of native species such as wild garlic, daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops. About 900 bulbs were planted on the day.

Sue Tudor, the Oak class teacher, said: “Although a large area, it was impossible to do anything with it that would benefit the local community due to the land spending much of the year under floodwater.

“Consequently it was left and was sometimes an area tempting to those wishing to engage in anti-social behaviour.

"Thanks to the new flood defences at Kempsey, the council has now been able to develop this area with proper paths, bird boxes, a new bridge and seating.

“The children were delighted to be involved in a local community project and we hope the flowers will be enjoyed for many years.

“One child has already asked if we can go and look at them in the spring.”

 

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