Tuesday 11th April 2017

Eels and Ladders at Frome Banks (c) Gareth ParryEels and Ladders at Frome Banks (c) Gareth Parry

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) is inviting the local community to join them in celebrating the newly installed community facilities at Frome Banks nature reserve in the heart of Stroud.

The all new wild play area includes a giant ‘eels and ladders’ game, music frame and catapult, all aiming to encourage families to have fun being active outdoors. Improved access and walkways have also made the reserve easy to visit for young families and people with mobility difficulties.

Tucked away under Capel Mill viaduct, Frome Banks is a hidden gem, frequented by local runners and dog-walkers but relatively unknown to the wider public. Despite being in the centre of Stroud, it sees a vast array of wildlife, including not-so-common species such as dipper and kingfisher. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust hopes that the improvements will draw more people to the site and provide a place of respite and enjoyment for people and wildlife alike.

The wild play trail has been part funded by Grundon Waste Management and Gloucestershire County Council’ Active Together Scheme, and is designed to get children active and interested in their wild surroundings, while an ‘eels and ladders board’ in the play area will provide a fun and educational game. Dedicated volunteers from GWT and Stroud Valleys Project have been working on the riverbank to repair erosion and counteract the muddy and uneven conditions, so that the site will be suitable for lunchtime strolls and longer visits; as well as carrying out important habitat maintenance work.

the perfect place for local families to play and explore nature

Gareth Parry, Head of Community Programmes for GWT said:
“Frome Banks is a really special site. It’s rare to have a green space so rich with wildlife but so close to the centre of a town, which is why we jumped at the opportunity to make the most of it. With the help of funding and support from Grundon Waste Management, Gloucestershire County Council, Stroud Valleys Project and our fantastic volunteers we’ve been able to make it more accessible and create the perfect place for local families to play and explore nature.”

Andrew Short, Estates Manager at Grundon, said: “This is a marvellous initiative from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to get us all out and enjoying the wonderful environment which is literally under our noses on the edge of Stroud.” 

The area will be formally opened on Saturday 22nd April at 11:00am, with representatives from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Stroud Valleys Project present, among other attendees. Members of the public will put the new play area to the test. Between 11am and 12:30pm, adults will be challenged to take on the children at a game of ‘Eels and ladders’ with chocolate eggs for the winners.